TravelNest to create 80 Edinburgh jobs after £7m investment

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A travel technology firm has announced it will create 80 jobs in Edinburgh on the back of a seven-figure investment.

TravelNest has invested £7 million to establish its operations in the Scottish capital, in a move the business said will result in more than 80 skilled jobs for the city.

It also secured £2.3m in research and development (R&D) and regional selective assistance (RSA) grant funding from Scottish Enterprise towards this investment to “accelerate its growth”.

TravelNest provides an advertising optimisation platform for holiday rental hosts which uses data and technology to make “hands-free” marketing decisions for its users.

The R&D project will aim to improve data flow from TravelNest to its partners, build intelligence to boost the performance of customers’ marketing and increase the efficiency of user on-boarding.

In December last year, TravelNest hit the headlines when it secured £3m in seed funding from Pentech Ventures, Mangrove Capital Partners, Frontline Ventures and former Skyscanner chief operations officer Mark Logan.

TravelNest founder and chief executive Doug Stephenson said: “To achieve our goal of winning in a global market, we need to move extremely quickly. Speed is critical in all aspects of our business: product development, customer acquisition, recruitment and so on.

“By moving fast in these areas, we will increase our probability of achieving that goal. This grant, along with equity investment, will help enable that.

“We’re excited about the future we’re building for ourselves here in Edinburgh. We have built an exceptional team and will continue to maintain a high talent bar as we grow.”

Michael Cannon, head of innovation grants, RSA and open innovation at Scottish Enterprise, said: “TravelNest is a fantastic example of a young, innovative company with global ambitions to be a leader in its market.

“This news is further evidence of Edinburgh’s credentials as an attractive location for technology businesses, with the city named the most active tech innovation community outside of London in the UK Tech Innovation Index.

“We look forward to helping TravelNest scale up and create more inclusive, sustainable jobs for Scotland’s people.”

Public finance and digital economy minister Kate Forbes, who announced the Scottish Enterprise funding, said companies like TravelNest were “critical” to Scotland’s economy.

She added: “The £2.3m R&D and RSA funding from Scottish Enterprise will help TravelNest realise its growth aspirations and supports our vision of a Scotland that stimulates innovation, welcomes investment and promotes its digital industries.”