Company also Introduces New Heavyweight Tech Leadership Lineup and Unveils Product Redesign
London (April 24, 2018) – Culture Trip, the fast-growing startup providing cultural and travel inspiration to users looking to explore the world, today announced $80M in funding. This large series B investment further demonstrates that Silicon Valley-sized startup deals are continuing in Europe.
Led by PPF Group, the round is being used to aggressively propel the business forward across all areas, including an immediate bolstering of its executive team with key hires joining from leading tech companies, and a product redesign launching today.
Off the back of the raise, Culture Trip will also use the funds to significantly expand its
engineering and creative workforce around the world to fuel innovation, drive further audience growth and roll out various monetisation strategies.
“I started Culture Trip with the ambition of applying my long-standing passion for global culture and creativity to building a tech company that could innovate in this space,” said Dr. Kris Naudts, Founder and CEO of Culture Trip. “With this game-changing investment, Culture Trip is focused on improving the current user experience and value proposition, with the aim of building a leading, global consumer brand that will disrupt the media and travel industries through its creative content and tech.”
Ladislav Chvatal, Chief Officer for Strategic Projects of PPF Group, added, “Having watched Culture Trip’s tremendous growth over the last few years, alongside the top talent and palpable passion inside the business, we see huge potential for it to truly revolutionise the media and travel industries. PPF Group is excited to help accelerate Culture Trip’s expansion plans and eager to see what lies ahead.”
With offices in New York and London, as well as an R&D team in Tel Aviv, Culture Trip moves into this next phase of development with an expanded leadership lineup from tech businesses, including Facebook, Google and YouTube.
Joining as CMO, Mike Fox will oversee the company’s global marketing division with a focus on audience growth and turning users into a powerful global community connected through shared interests. Previously, Fox was at Facebook and part of the early team responsible for growing Facebook’s annual advertising business. Recently appointed CRO, Dick Soule, will be tasked with expanding and diversifying Culture Trip’s monetisation efforts across multiple markets. Soule was the first head of global sales at YouTube, playing a key role in developing and driving their sponsorship and media programme. He also possesses AR and VR experience from his more recent positions representing Samsung VR and Jaunt VR.
These executive appointments will work alongside Nick Jakobi, Chief Product Officer, who previously joined Culture Trip, having worked at Facebook and Google, bringing with him significant product and AI experience. Also grounded in tech, Culture Trip’s Board of Directors includes Dr. Nelson Mattos, former Vice President of Engineering for EMEA at Google, as well as Yariv Adan, Product Lead on the Google Assistant.
“I’m thrilled to have such world-class tech talent on our growing executive team and Board,” said Dr. Kris Naudts. “With this investment and quality of leadership, Culture Trip is now ready to enter a new phase of hyper-growth.”
The company, today, also launched a new brand aesthetic to its product, (website, app and social channels), with a new logo and colour palette. Plus, new smart tech features, including wish lists, integrated Google maps and planning tools, are being rolled out as the platform starts to offer a more seamless experience for the global traveller.
This collective announcement comes on the heels of Culture Trip’s recent reveal of plans to launch an online travel booking division later this year, connecting boutique hotels, independent hotels, hostels and experience providers with the company’s rapidly rising millennial following.