The Funds will Accelerate the Next Evolution of the Innovative Travel Agency’s Technology for Travel Advisors
NEW YORK, August 11, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fora, a tech-forward travel agency ushering in a new generation of entrepreneurs, announced $13.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Heartcore Capital and Forerunner. Fora will use the funding to accelerate the next evolution of its platform: an innovative client and booking management system – the first of its kind in the industry – exclusively for its community of travel advisors. The funding will also be used to boost marketing and business development, and build best-in-class training programs for its community of advisors.
Since launching in August 2021, Fora has redefined the concept of a travel agency, and given the notoriously antiquated industry a makeover as a result. Led by longtime travel professionals and successful repeat founders, Fora targets an emerging generation of entrepreneurs: these are the individuals who are passionate about travel but never once considered booking trips as an income stream. Enter Fora, which provides all the resources needed to launch a career as a travel agent.
Since its inception, Fora has experienced exponential growth and now boasts nearly 500 advisors around the world, with more than 30,000 people on the waitlist. 97 percent of Fora Advisors had never sold travel previously, proving that Fora was the linchpin in empowering people to transform their passion into a career.
"This funding milestone enables us to double down on our vision to become a leading travel agency, with a first-of-its-kind platform for advisors," said Jake Peters, co-founder and chief product & technology officer at Fora. "Our goal is to make our advisors’ job as seamless as possible, with an accessible user experience and system that will grow with our advisors, but not be overwhelming."
This integrated portal offers Fora Advisors, both new to the industry and experienced professionals, all the information they need to book travel at their fingertips. This includes an easy discovery tool for preferred partner perks, destination and resort overviews, secure credit card management, client management and much more. In addition, the portal offers a real-time update on commission payments.
Fora also offers tech-enabled marketing tools to ensure advisors can seamlessly drive demand to their network. A new and innovative marketing feature is the "magic blog," a tool which allows Fora Advisors to customize and share travel content with the push of a button. With this feature, advisors can personalize articles written by Fora’s in-house creative team – including hotel roundups shaped by bookings data and industry experts – to include their own byline and calls-to-action to get in touch. Advisors also have access to branded email templates touting hotel exclusives and seasonal offers. Adding to the content marketing equation, Fora Advisors can set up a profile at foratravel.com and showcase their own trip itineraries, bio and areas of expertise. With this technology, advisors can skip the heavy lifting of content marketing and do what they do best: plan trips.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel spending hit a new pandemic high of $101 billion in May 2022. The American Society of Travel Advisors reports that nearly half of travelers (44 percent) estimate they are more likely to use a travel advisor when the pandemic is over. With travel advisors in more demand than ever, Fora is perfectly positioned to revolutionize the industry.
"Heartcore is excited to be underwriting Fora's exceptional growth in a strategic space in travel," said Max Niederhofer, partner at Heartcore Capital. "The narrative of venture investment in tourism has been one of disintermediation and automation. But unforgettable experiences are best planned with the depth of insight and level of care that only a personalized, one-on-one booking experience can provide. We believe Fora is the ultimate career opportunity for a new generation of passionate travel entrepreneurs: a chance to build a thriving and flexible business offering phenomenal trips with all the perks of the traditional agency model."
The team at Fora is dedicated to more than just building a tech-forward company. They’re focused on empowering people to earn money doing what they are passionate about.
"Originally, we wanted to create a new kind of travel agency so anyone who loves travel could join and earn income," said Henley Vazquez, co-founder of Fora. "The funding not only helps speed up our plans to build our community of travel advisors, but it furthers our commitment to bring people together through travel. We are very excited for what the future holds and how this will continue to change the industry."
To learn more about Fora, visit www.foratravel.com.
Fora is a tech-forward travel agency with a mission to empower anyone with a passion for travel to earn income by planning and booking trips. A one-stop shop to become a successful travel advisor, Fora offers its community of advisors ongoing training, access to a supplier hub, commission tracking and the fastest payments in the industry, content creation tools, marketing resources and more. Fora sits at the intersection of the desire for flexible, remote work and travelers’ desire to re-experience the world. The waitlist to become a Fora Advisor is currently 30k people, and growing. More at www.foratravel.com.
Founded in 2007, Heartcore Capital is a leading European early-stage venture capital firm with over $700M in committed capital. With offices in Copenhagen, Berlin, and Paris, Heartcore backs exceptional founders building category-defining B2C and B2B2C technology companies from inception to Series A. Heartcore's portfolio includes companies like GetYourGuide, TravelPerk, Roadsurfer, and Tink (acquired by Visa in 2022 for $2.2 billion). More at https://heartcore.com/.
Forerunner is a VC firm focused on understanding the mindset of the modern consumer and identifying the companies poised to deliver what they need. Forerunner invests in companies across sectors—from fintech to marketplaces, creator platforms to commerce enablement tools—as they reimagine how, why, and with whom we transact. The firm’s investments include Chime, Faire, Glossier, Away, ŌURA, Curated, Ritual, The Farmer’s Dog, and Warby Parker, among others. For more information, visit forerunnerventures.com.
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