YFM backs travel tech startup TravelTek

YFM Equity Partners has invested 5.3 million pounds in TravelTek. Based in the UK, TravelTek is a travel technology provider.


18 October 2016: YFM Equity Partners (YFM), the specialist private equity fund manager, has invested £5.3 million in TravelTek, a Scottish technology business which provides market leading dynamic packaging technology to travel agents, tour operators and wholesalers worldwide. The investment has been made by the VCT and LP funds managed and advised by YFM.

Founded in 2002, TravelTek provides travel retailers, agents and wholesalers with the technology to package together an extensive range of hotels, flights, cruises and ancillary travel services in one seamless transaction.

TravelTek has delivered a near 250% increase in sales in the last four years from its offices in Scotland, England, Australia and the US. YFM’s investment will be used to further develop TravelTek’s market leading product, and accelerate its international office expansion across the globe.

Since meeting the management team earlier this year, YFM and TravelTek have been working on a growth plan which will see the existing international office network increase from four to 12 and staff numbers in the group from under 100 to c. 200 during the next three years. As well as recruiting senior travel industry executives to the team, YFM has also introduced Kelvin Harrison as Chairman of the board. Kelvin has a wealth of experience in developing and growing software businesses having been CEO of Maxima holdings plc in Glasgow which he grew to £56m of sales and £9m of profit.

TravelTek Group Managing Director, Kenny Picken said:
“We chose YFM based on its long history of working successfully with owner managed teams and growing businesses internationally. YFM’s investment will allow us to continue to develop our market leading position by accelerating our existing international office network as well as expanding our local Scottish headquarters to support this growth.

“We have been particularly impressed with YFM’s commitment to backing our business and we look forward to working with the team as we enter this next key stage for our business.”

Nigel Owens, Investment Director at YFM added:
“TravelTek is the only fully integrated, technology focussed packaging solution for travel agents and travel operators in the world. We have been impressed by management’s commitment to fully understand its customers’ business and create market leading tailored solutions. The existing development of the international office network and TravelTek’s growth in sales is testament to the proposition and the existing management team we are backing.”

About YFM
YFM Equity Partners are specialist, independently owned, private equity investors. With over 30 years of experience, we seek to unlock value and growth potential by providing up to £10 million of equity to fuel the development of established business throughout the UK regions. We do this by helping our portfolio companies grow niche businesses, launch new initiatives, make transformative acquisitions and upgrade technologies and systems. Through our offices in Leeds, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield, we are dedicated to working alongside management teams to create long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in and a positive economic impact for the communities in which we work. We manage and advise funds in excess of £200 million, which include venture capital trusts and private equity funds.

YFM Equity Partners conducts its investment business through its subsidiary YFM Private Equity Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 122120).

About TravelTek
Traveltek specialises in building and maintaining bespoke booking systems for airlines, hotels, cruise ships, car hire, insurance and holiday operators. Many household travel trade names are clients, including Hay’s Travel, Trailfinders, Co-operative Travel, the Flight Centre, Emirates, Barrhead Travel, dnata, Imagine Cruising and World Travel Holdings UK. Founded by Kenny Picken in 2002, the business processes many millions of lines of data every day, and its systems underpin the day-to-day booking operations of a growing number of travel trade businesses across the world.