Springboard Corporate Finance is delighted to announce that it has advised Vitruvian Partners-backed Travel Counsellors, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing technology platforms for travel entrepreneurs, on its strategic acquisition of award-winning online travel company Holidaysplease for an undisclosed sum.
Birmingham-based Holidaysplease is a fast growing online travel company with approximately 100 home-working travel experts, 50 franchisees, and around 50 employees. Holidaysplease generated Total Transaction Value (TTV) of more than £40m in 2022 and, like Travel Counsellors, it has consistently enjoyed a coveted 5-star ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot.
The acquisition strengthens Travel Counsellors’ position as the UK’s largest technology platform for travel entrepreneurs empowering and connecting nearly 2,000 independent business owners. It also builds on the company’s exceptional growth and strategic progress over recent periods, highlighted by its record financial performance in 2022 when TTV on the “Travel Counsellors’ platform” increased to more than £700m, representing growth of more than 300% against the prior year.
The deal marks Travel Counsellors’ first acquisition in its near 30-year history and comes hot off the heels of the company’s record month in January 2023, where it generated £114m of sales on its platform supported by strong consumer demand for top selling destinations such as the USA, Spain, Greece, UAE and the Maldives. The acquisition supports Travel Counsellors momentum as it accelerates towards generating £1bn+ of platform sales in FY23.
Steve Byrne, CEO of Travel Counsellors, commented:
“We are delighted to have acquired such a highly regarded, fast-growing and profitable business with a hugely complementary strategic fit. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the entire Holidaysplease community; we are incredibly excited at what this combination will mean for both businesses, our communities of travel experts, and our customers.
“Our strategic goal is to build a community of the very best travel entrepreneurs who are empowered by our technology to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Both businesses share incredibly similar cultures, each built on people-led values and a relentless focus on customer care. This is clearly reflected in both brands’ excellent customer feedback and ratings.
“Both businesses share outstanding momentum having each delivered exceptional growth in 2022, as well as record-breaking performances in January 2023, when Travel Counsellors achieved TTV of more than £110m while Holidaysplease recorded their most successful month of trading in its 20-year history. I am confident that this combination will only serve to strengthen both business’ momentum and exciting long-term prospects.
“The acquisition supports our growth strategy as we accelerate towards being a £1bn+ transaction value platform in the near future. Our proprietary technology and operating model are both highly scalable, and we look forward to the future with excitement and confidence.”
Travel Counsellors were supported on the acquisition by Springboard Partners, Simon Ward and James Bailey and Executive Claudia Haywood. James commented “This was a fantastic deal, bringing together two hugely complementary businesses and the combination will further strengthen the record breaking momentum both are enjoying. A pleasure to work with the Travel Counsellors team and the transaction provides a great platform for future M&A activity”.
Kieran Hartwell, Managing Director, Corporate Travel – Travel Counsellors
“It was excellent working with the team at Springboard. Patient, professional, rational and focussed on the end game”