Sherpa, an online travel tech company based in Toronto, has managed to raise $8.5 million as part of their funds, with the effort being led by True Ventures and Narrative Fund. Other investors in the company include Globalive Capital, TSVC, Golden Ventures, N49P, Relay Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, and company CEO LP Maurice.
The primary concept behind the creation of Sherpa is to make international travel as easy, hassle-free, and convenient as domestic travel. Being a platform that primarily works online, it uses its technology to help travel companies to incorporate travel requirements into their offered services. These could include visa applications, incurred costs of personal expenses, etc.
Travelling internationally can be complicated, particularly when it comes to applying for a visa. Furthermore, the current COVID-19 pandemic has only made this worse. Some countries have overcome the spread of the virus, while others are experiencing their second and third waves. As a result, mandatory lockdowns – both local and nationwide – and international travel restrictions are constantly changing.
Due to such issues, many travel companies have struggled to keep afloat in 2020 because of the impact of the pandemic on people’s plans for travel. However, Sherpa has not encountered this problem, mainly because of the nature of their product. The company has also expanded itself and added several airlines and travel management companies as partners to collaborate with, such as TripActions, Expedia, Icelandair, and American Airlines.
Being a tech company, Sherpa can include such features for its clients effortlessly. Employees track data points in millions, and ensure that everything is as convenient as possible for potential travellers.
While the idea of something like Sherpa seemed attractive prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more compelling after the outbreak of the virus, especially since vaccine passports and other health documents have become a requirement to travel. Thus, the product offered by Sherpa has been long overdue. This creates a golden opportunity for the company, which is further multiplied by their unique product and business model.
Beginning with 16 employees in December, to increasing that number to 26 in April, Sherpa hopes to have 50 employees by the end of the year. With the newly received funding of $8.5 million, Sherpa plans to include travel documents as a side-product to support their primary service. This would also serve the purposes of international expansion and further integration with partner companies. While Sherpa has mostly worked with American companies, its demand has begun to increase in Europe very recently. Furthermore, it has begun to substantially increase its activities in Asia and the Middle East.