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Travel paytech Swiipr raises £6m in Series A funding

Source: Swiipr

Swiipr, a travel paytech company transforming the airline industry’s outdated and inefficient disruption payments systems, has secured £6m in Series A funding, led by Octopus Ventures, to help drive the company’s next phase of growth.

As the world’s first airline specialised payments platform Swiipr is enabling airlines to digitise disruption payments, greatly enhancing the passenger experience and driving cost efficiency by up to 60%. Having launched in 2020, Swiipr is already used by 26 airlines across 70 countries, including a major flag carrier whose 4,000 staff are utilising the platform in over 167 of its airports globally.

Over 500m global passengers are estimated to be affected by flight disruption each year, costing airlines billions of dollars in payouts as well as significant customer dissatisfaction, reputational damage and regulatory fines, making compensation a board agenda issue for airlines.

Paper vouchers in particular are time-consuming to process and issue, fraud prone, notoriously retailer and passenger unfriendly, and environmentally unsustainable. Bank transfers can take months to process, physical cash is insecure and expensive to handle at airports, and loyalty points and future travel vouchers are often unpopular.

Swiipr’s integrated digital platform, including virtual and physical pre-paid compensation cards and a mobile app, give airlines the tools they need to solve these pain points for both themselves and passengers, whilst being fully compliant with the latest passenger rights regulations.
For passengers, Swiipr has launched the Swiipr Compensation Card, which enables airlines to distribute funds directly to passengers at the point of disruption (such as denied boarding or lost luggage), and the Swiipr Welfare Card, which enables airlines to instantly distribute food & beverage payments when flights are delayed. The cards offer instant, secure and compliant payouts, in a streamlined, digital format that has universal retail compatibility.

The platform also helps airlines slash fraud and processing time, boost loyalty through personalised offers and gain critical customer retail insights. Furthermore, airlines are also able to use Swiipr's card products for operational and crisis payments for their staff and crew, during trips and delays.

TX Ventures and Solano Partners supported Octopus on the funding round. The capital will be deployed to develop Swiipr’s strategy, product and technology, including investment into R&D, AI and data analytics and to drive international airline market growth.

Tara Spielhagen, Co-founder and CEO of Swiipr said:
“Legacy compensation systems are unfit for purpose. Not only do they cost an airline billions of dollars every year but they also exacerbate disruption and stress. It doesn’t need to be this way in a digital age, and we are proud to have developed a new solution that solves so many pain points. Our airline partners and their customers are already reaping the benefits”
Co-founder and Chairman of Swiipr, Ian Clowes added:
“Swiipr solves a real live global issue for airlines which is only going to become more challenging with climate change. Now, thanks to Octopus, our Series A capital will enable us to enhance our solutions even further and accelerate our growth helping us to achieve our vision of eliminating compensation friction points wherever they exist”.

Tosin Agbabiaka, Principal at Octopus Ventures said:
“We’ve been impressed by the power of Swiipr’s offering to fundamentally transform compensation payments, delivering the scale and efficiency of modern payments to the airline industry while significantly improving the travel experience for their customers.

“Swiipr’s founders bring the depth of expertise in both the payments and travel industries necessary to tackle the airline compensation challenge. This complimentary skillset, and the effectiveness of its solution, have enabled Swiipr to already gain strong traction with major global carriers this early in its development.”

Jens Schleuniger, Managing Partner at TX Ventures,
“Customer satisfaction and retention has become a differentiating factor for every airline industry. An important aspect is clearly how to compensate frustrated customers in case of denied boarding and/or significant delays. Swiipr has developed a state-of-the-art payment solution that allows every airline to swiftly deal with compensation while offering significant benefits to both the passengers as well as the respective airlines.

“Apart from the software solution itself we were particularly impressed by the two founders Tara and Ian as well as the traction that Swiipr has built. The team has been able to attract a number of tier 1 customers already and is clearly on the track to become a clear market leader in the passenger compensation category.”

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