Travel tech firm invests £7m to establish Edinburgh operation

More than 80 skilled jobs will be created in Edinburgh thanks to travel technology SME, TravelNest, investing £7m to establish its operations in the capital.

Kate Forbes, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, announced that TravelNest had secured £2.3m in research and development and Regional Selective Assistance grant funding from Scottish Enterprise as a contribution towards this investment to accelerate its growth.

TravelNest offers a platform that allows vacation rental hosts to access “smarter hands-free marketing”. The product offers “frictionless set-up and uses data and technology to make marketing decisions for its users that will result in high performance for their properties”.

The research and development project will focus on improving data flow from TravelNest to its partners, building intelligence to increase the performance of customers’ marketing and increasing efficiency of customer on-boarding.

“Companies with innovation at the heart of their business, like TravelNest, are critical to the Scottish economy,” said Forbes. “That’s why the Scottish Government is supporting businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that come from our established strengths in innovation and technological change.

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

Doug Stephenson, chief executive of TravelNest, commented: “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 here 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.”