|By||http://e27.cohttp://e27.sg/2012/12/11/flocations-finally-secures-funding-from-tnf-ventures-and-innov8-after-nrf-delays/||| Dec 11, 2012 | Featured|
Update: The article has been updated to reflect its accuracy with regards to the funding process.
Flocations is an online travel discovery tool. The new investment round is led by TNF Ventures under the National Research Foundation (NRF)’s Technology Incubation Scheme, supported with additional capital from SingTel Innov8 and Singapore based business angel Ben T Ball.
We last caught up with the team in June, where the team announced their integration with the AirAsia Chrome web app, where customers can book their AirAsia ticket through the new plug-in. The team was also looking to hire a community manager and a web designer, sending a strong signal that the company is actively expanding.
Then, the team thought they were about a month away from closing financing. While the team had some term sheets closed, the funding was naturally delayed due to a multi-investor involvement.
Stable growth so far, with killer feature launching soon
Of course, with cash running tight due to operational expenses, this new funding round led by TNF Ventures would give the team some room to breath. The cash injection would also allow Flocations to offer a new set of innovative features, integrating both hotel and flights into their search by price methodology. This means users can search for a whole vacation just by putting in their price and also lets them discover new locations. With this round of funding too, the team is going to invest in advertising channels to acquire market share.
According to Shirley Wong, Managing Partner at TNF Ventures, this new price methodology is a game changer. “Flocations’ targeted market of short haul travellers and their search-by-price methodology is what’s powerful. It changes the paradigm of traditional travel search and tries to disrupt the travel market by targeting a niche market.”
How did SingTel Innov8 come into the picture, supporting the investment round along with TNF Ventures? Earlier this year, Flocations was among the first batch of 11 start-up companies from the JFDI-Innov8 2012 Bootcamp. It was one of two companies to be earmarked for investment by SingTel Innov8 immediately following the bootcamp demo day.
Funding process was lengthy and difficult
When asked about the funding process, Tudor Coman mentioned that “it was lengthy, absolutely, and there are inherited difficulties when raising money from three parties as there needed agreement from all parties to take place.”
“I looked over at Shaw (one of the Flocations engineer) and he said “Not getting money”. Six months is a long time for negotiations, hoping for money, not getting money and using up your personal long earned savings to survive. Lots of things can happen during 6 months also as a young startup – pivots, changes, market reactions, et cetera. Constant experimentation. Definitely an endurance game and fund raising anchors you enough that you can’t be as flexible to react to these changes.”