Flash Pack, which specialises in boutique adventures for solo travellers in their 30s and 40s, has announced a £5m funding round, almost exactly three years after the business filed for bankruptcy during the height of the pandemic.
Led by JamJar Investments, the consumer venture capital fund founded by the Innocent drinks founders, with additional funding from Active Partners and current investors, PPF, the new investment takes the total amount raised to £7.8m.
Three years ago, founder and CEO Radha closed the business after the pandemic travel restrictions forced it into administration. The business relaunched in 2021, backed by PPF, with a single mission: to create one million friendships by curating meaningful connections and perfecting the group dynamics of every trip.
Fuelled by a loneliness epidemic and the need for connection, the business experienced two consecutive years of remarkable growth, hosting solo travellers from every continent, and growing to a team of 65 across 11 countries.
The recent investment will support continued technology development and growth in the US, where their audience share has grown to 60% over the last two years. The founders, Radha Vyas, and Lee Thompson will be setting up the business in North America at the start of 2024, and plan to triple their US-based hires within the next six months.
Radha Vyas, CEO and co-founder of Flash Pack, said: “Solo travel has continued to grow in popularity as people look to expand their horizons and make up for lost time, but in the last two years, we have also seen an increased appetite for building meaningful connections through travel. We’re proud to be doing our part in helping to make cities like London less isolated, with 80% Flashpackers staying in touch after their trip. The recent investment indicates the value in this growing trend and we’re incredibly excited to continue this success worldwide.”
Female founders received only 2% of all venture capital funding in 2022, a number that decreases further for female founders of South Asian descent (0.8%). This makes Radha one of a handful of South Asian female founders to have secured investment at this stage of their business.
Tom Profumo, Partner at Active Partners commented: “With growing demand for solo and adventure travel, Flash Pack is changing the game with its focus on perfecting the group dynamics of each trip, creating connections, friendships, and an extra level of experience. The company’s remarkable growth since the pandemic is a testament to Radha and Lee’s fantastic leadership and the engaged community they’re building. We are excited for what’s to come as they expand further into the US market.”