£5.3m investment for East Kilbride’s TravelTek

Kenny Picken

Private equity fund manager YFM Equity Partners said it has invested £5.3 million in East Kilbride-based TravelTek, a firm that provides technology to travel agents and tour operators.

YFM Equity Partners said the investment has been made by funds managed and advised by YFM.

Founded in 2002, TravelTek provides travel retailers, agents and wholesalers with technology to package together hotels, flights, cruises and ancillary travel services in one transaction.

YFM said TravelTek has delivered a near 250% increase in sales in the last four years from its offices in Scotland, England, Australia and the US.

YFM said its investment will be used to further develop TravelTek’s market leading product and accelerate its international office expansion.

YFM and TravelTek have been working on a growth plan that will see TravelTek’s international office network increase from four to 12 and staff numbers in the group increase from under 100 to about 200 in the next three years.

As well as recruiting senior travel industry executives to the team, YFM has also introduced Kelvin Harrison as chairman of the board.

YFM said Harrison has a wealth of experience developing software businesses, including his time as CEO of Maxima Holdings in Glasgow which he grew to £56 million of sales and £9 million of profit.

TravelTek group managing director Kenny Picken said: “We chose YFM based on its long history of working successfully with owner managed teams and growing businesses internationally.

“YFM’s investment will allow us to continue to develop our market leading position by accelerating our existing international office network as well as expanding our local Scottish headquarters to support this growth.

“We have been particularly impressed with YFM’s commitment to backing our business and we look forward to working with the team as we enter this next key stage for our business.”

Nigel Owens, investment director at YFM, said: “TravelTek is the only fully integrated, technology focussed packaging solution for travel agents and travel operators in the world.

“We have been impressed by management’s commitment to fully understand its customers’ business and create market leading tailored solutions.

“The existing development of the international office network and TravelTek’s growth in sales is testament to the proposition and the existing management team we are backing.”