Upside, a New York-based business travel startup founded by Priceline.com founder Jay Walker, is raising as much as USD 100 million in newfunding, according to a published report.
Private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners Management is leading the round, the Fortune report said. Fortune pegged the valuation at USD 600 million, although there was skepticism about the accuracy of that valuation.
An Upside spokesperson would not comment on the report.
The year-old, Washington, D.C.-based Upside had raised USD 50 million in venture funding in prior rounds. Red Ventures and investment firm Leucadia National participated in that earlier round.
This winter, Walker Innovation, a consultancy founded by Jay Walker, sold 3.7 million shares in Upside at a value of USD 7.6 million. The company holds a warrant to buy 12.65 million shares, or about 11 percent of Upside, according to financial filings.
Those figures suggest that the valuation placed on Upside at the time was about USD 217 million.
Officially launched in January, Upside’s service is mainly this: Travelers get gift cards when they buy travel packages, and companies savemoney on their travel spend. The company haggles with all of the major U.S. airlines and more than 1,000 hotels and hides below-retail discounts in the combined price of a package.
Walker estimates the U.S. market size for unmanaged business travel spend to be $165 billion.
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