French travel startup Evaneos has closed $6 million in funding. XAnge Private Equity led the round with participation from ISAI. According to the company, the capital will be used for expansion in Europe.
Paris – January 13th 2014 – Evaneos, online specialist for tailored travel achieved a financing round of $6M through XAnge Private Equity (leader) and founding investor ISAI. The investment will be dedicated to the European growth of the French startup, already established in France, Spain, Italy and Germany. Doubling its volume of sales each year, Evaneos prospects to continue this significant growth and triple its workforce in the coming years.
A break in the tourism industry
Evaneos.com is an online platform that helps conceive, estimate the cost and book a completely personalized trip by relying on the advice and assistance of local agents established in the destination country. These local agents are tourism professionals (also called DMC – Destination Management Company) who traditionally provide services to major tour operators. Through Evaneos.com, these local agencies work directly for the travelers by offering a fully customized service, specialized expertise and assistance on site (pick-up at the airport, assistance number 24/7, etc…) with a price 20% to 30% cheaper due to the absence of intermediary.
Eric La Bonnardière, CEO of Evaneos.com comments : “XAnge’s interest for Evaneos.com demonstrates the validity of the concept and business model we invented four years ago, along with the international growth perspectives that we wish to accentuate. If our philosophy remains unchanged since our inception, we now have more resources to develop it : built on our passion for travelling and our technologic expertise to invent tomorrow’s travels. Our travelers’ community expects us to keep thinking differently and innovate.” Yvan Wibaux, co-founder and CTO of Evaneos.com adds : “This new step in our development will enable us to expand our technical team in order to launch the tools and features which will allow tomorrow’s travelers to take as much pleasure planning their trip than living it, and help agents to work more effectively.”
Strong growth and international ambition
Since its creation and in only 4 years, over 30 000 travelers have trusted Evaneos.com to discover such countries as India, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Indonesia or China. The website covers over 120 destinations thanks to 200 local agents, selected according to strict specifications. Thanks to this high selectivity, Evaneos.com is able to offer a high quality experience to its users (97% satisfaction rate) : a completely secured access to the best on site professionals, to experience the best trip.
Rodolphe Menegaux, Participation Director at XAnge, explains : “Evaneos.com achieved a remarkable growth and demonstrated its ability to internationalize the concept. We are convinced that Internet fosters the emergence of decentralized organizations; therefore lots of travelers throughout Europe will now opt for this type of unique and original experience.”
A praised offer which corresponds to travelers’ new requirements
While the physical networks of agencies face competition from online search engines and other devices, Evaneos.com proposes to focus on bringing back a human dimension to travel and encourage contacts between travelers, local agents, local populations, those who enjoy the country or travel in general.
Evaneos.com therefore wishes to use the raised funds to develop new services for its community of active travelers to encourage exchange and sharing between members.
Christophe Raynaud, Managing Director at ISAI, adds : « Evaneos.com isn’t a merchant but a marketplace, a trusted third party, with a unique legitimacy to launch new services with a social dimension such as travelers opinions or picture sharing. Travelers need an effective service from the stage of preliminary inspiration and the search of new ideas for the next destination and not only for booking purposes”.
The Board of Directors structured for growth
Jean-Fabrice Mathieu (former CEO at Kelkoo and former Managing Director at Seloger.com), Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux (founder of The Phone House, CEO at Virgin Mobile France and co-founder of ISAI) and Pauline d’Orgeval (founder of 1001listes) are part of the Board of Directors with the founders and investors.
Jean-Fabrice Mathieu et Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux confirm : “As demanding travelers, we fully understand the added value Evaneos brings to its clients, both in the pleasure of preparing the trip and the handling on site” and they add : “we’re delighted to welcome an investor such as XAnge who was recently recognized for its international successes.”
Evaneos.com in a few figures
– Founded in June 2009
– 2010 : 1400 travelers – 2M€ sales – 6 employees
– 2011 : 6000 travelers – 7M€ sales – 12 employees
– 2012 : 10000 travelers – 14M€ sales – 20 employees
Eric la Bonnardière (32 y.o) and Yvan Wibaux (29 y.o) meet in 2007, united by a passion for travel and a taste for adventure. Eric, HEC and Supélec graduate and Yvan, Central School graduate, become partners to create Evaneos in 2009. Soul travelers and keen on authentic discoveries, they find that no agency or website offers a service that combines 100% tailored trip, proximity with local populations, discovery and on site expertise. On the basis of this premise, the platform Evaneos.com is created to give travelers access to services and advice provided directly from local travel agencies, selected according to strict quality specifications, and expert in their destinations, thus enabling travelers to create and buy a fully customized trip for 20% or 30% cheaper since it is sold without an intermediary.