< PrevNext > Man with the Golden Funds Ariel Cohen, TripActions Co-Founder & CEO By Amon Cohen / December 09, 2022 Share For all its frenetic activity—and 2022 saw another blizzard of acquisitions and product launches—perhaps the most feted aspect of the corporate travel phenomenon that is TripActions is its ability to attract vast venture capital to a sector renowned for low-margin returns.TripActions was at it again this year. Its latest Series G funding round in October attracted an additional $304 million through equity investment and a structured capital transaction. The company claimed the new money took its valuation to $9.2 billion, a mere seven years after being co-founded by Ariel Cohen (no relation to the author) and Ilan Twig.One-time Hewlett-Packard employee Cohen is not renowned for his bashfulness. A blog he and Twig published to mark the Series G announcement was characteristically messianic. “We set out to disrupt a legacy industry full of clunky tech that frustrates employees and leads to inefficient travel and spend processes,” they wrote. “With this round of funding and our continued growth, we’re doing just that, and what we’ve known to be true internally is becoming accepted as fact: TripActions is the fulcrum; the tipping point; the accelerant that is forcing this industry to modernize.”The success or otherwise of the mission to disrupt is an interesting debate. Arguably the acquisition last year of suited-and-booted, high-touch U.K. travel management company Reed & Mackay was tacit acknowledgement that a conventional service offering remains important alongside the digital-first approach of TripActions itself. But there was innovation aplenty in 2022, with TripActions repositioning itself as a payment and expense as well as travel management company. A case can be made that TripActions’ payment and expense offering Liquid, launched in 2020, catalyzed a notable flurry of integrations in the travel and payment sectors this year, both through partnerships and acquisitions. New features of Liquid unveiled in 2022 included multi-currency capabilities connecting the app to users’ personal bank accounts; and VAT-compliant invoicing. The company last week announced it had secured $400 million in credit facilities from Goldman Sachs Bank and Silicon Valley Bank to grow its Liquid product. TripActions, which claims to have 8,000 clients, climbed to fourth in BTN Europe’s 2022 list of the continent’s largest TMCs, based on 2019-2021 figures. This year the group has grown further in Europe through acquiring Resia of Sweden, Comtravo of Germany and (via Reed & Mackay) Atlanta Agencia Viajes of Spain. TripActions also partnered with Lufthansa to launch the BusinessToGo booking platform for the smaller end of the market in May.Meanwhile, it was reported in September that TripActions has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering. Its target valuation is reputedly $12 billion. If the IPO proceeds, perhaps the prospectus will finally reveal the secret sauce that has proved so irresistible to investors.