TROOP, the award-winning global developer of corporate meeting technology and services, has announced that it has secured $11m (R201m) in Series B funding. This funding will contribute towards expanding the company’s presence in South Africa and globally. TROOP plans to engage with engineering and product talent in South Africa and double its current employee base in 2023, as well as build a team of 170 people globally by 2025.

TROOP has entities in the USA, Spain, South Africa, and the UK.

TROOP’s technology platform helps companies plan, book, expense, and manage logistics for in-person meetings. The demand for group meetings has increased due to the shift towards a distributed team environment. TROOP’s customer base ranges from start-ups to well-established global enterprises.

According to TROOP Co-founder Leonard Cremer, “TROOP’s expanding presence in South Africa comes at a crucial time, with the South African economy expected to make an upturn, and its meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) industry likely to grow considerably over the coming year. We look forward to establishing deeper roots in the country since we first established TROOP in South Africa in 2021, as well as making our offerings and services more accessible across the continent.”

The global MICE industry was valued at $920m pre-pandemic and is forecast to show steady growth reaching $1.8bn by 2030. Approximately 60% of companies have embraced a hybrid working environment adding a further level of complexity to planning meetings.

TROOP’s South African-based employees work remotely on a full-time basis. TROOP also has a presence in the US and the UK, with plans afoot to also expand its presence and resources in Spain.

The Series B funding round was led by Durable Capital Partners LP and Madrona Venture Group, with participation from All Iron Ventures and Conexo Ventures. A portion of this investment will be allocated towards the continued growth of TROOP’s technology, customer success and sales teams to support the broadening international footprint and rapid expansion across South African, Europe, and the US, and to deliver and launch TROOP: One, the company’s end-to-end meeting management platform due to launch later this year.

TROOP: One will incorporate enhanced planning capabilities and expand into booking, management, and meetings expenses with deep technology integrations into best-in-class service providers including Spotnana, Center and others, offering flexibility for customers to work with their service providers of choice, delivering a superior customer experience and workflow for corporates planning in-person meetings.

“As companies become increasingly hybrid or even fully remote, creating meaningful in-person interactions becomes more challenging than ever,” says Henry Ellenbogen, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Durable Capital Partners LP. “I believe TROOP sits at the forefront of the rapidly changing workplace and is well-positioned to deliver value for companies organising in-person meetings in a more remote world.”

TROOP has transformed what has historically been a largely manual and time-intensive process into a self-serve platform that optimises meeting planning based on corporate goals including, travel time, locations, flights, lodging, cost, CO2 reductions and others. TROOP’s platform takes basic inputs and quickly and easily presents the most convenient meeting place for the group and a menu of venue options. Meeting organisers can use the dashboard to visualise and aggregate data to make quick and informed decisions about group travel while collaborating with co-workers and participants.

“The meetings and event planning market has historically been underserved, and the limited tools available required large internal teams to deliver acceptable outcomes. With the pandemic-driven acceleration of distributed workforces, the need for an easy-to-use, complete solution to plan, book, expense, and manage meetings and events of any size has increased dramatically. Troop fills that need with a platform that is easy to deploy, can be used by anyone, and that now leverages local experts and skills to deliver unique meetings and event experiences,” says Steve Singh, Executive Chairman of TROOP, and Managing Director at Madrona.

 

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