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 current investors, 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, says: “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.
Richard Reed, JamJar Investments Co- Founder, said, “At JamJar we’re on a mission to invest in and help grow early-stage consumer businesses who are using tech to disrupt their categories, as well as having a positive impact on the world. Flash Pack is not just revolutionising the way people travel, but how we interact with one another.
“More needs to be done by investors to fund female-founded ventures, particularly from women of colour. Under Radha’s leadership Flash Pack has escaped the fate of the pandemic and come out better than ever, and so we have high hopes for what they will achieve over the next three years.”