We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund II has completed an investment in Pana (pana.com). Pana is a corporate travel management tool that helps book travel and track expenses for non-employees.
Institutions ranging from Fortune 500 companies to conference organizers regularly arrange and finance travel for non-employees. From interview candidates flown in from around the country to keynote conference speakers, we estimate that up to 20% of corporate travel spend occurs in situations like these. Corporations want to provide these guests the best possible travel experience, often even better than what they would give employees, yet they are stuck with ad hoc, inefficient processes to do so.
These non-employees need their tickets and hotels booked and paid for but aren’t set up in the corporate travel account. Since these non-employees are outside of the normal Travel Management Company (TMC) infrastructure, companies and their guests often track their expenses by hand and get them back to the relevant departments outside of established channels. This adds lots of work and friction when managing policies, facilitating timely expense submissions and reimbursements and optimizing prices for the company and the traveler. Plus, it’s a terrible user experience for people who the company may be trying to impress.
Pana is building a travel management tool that helps entities arrange, book, finance, and track travel expenditures for non-employees. Pana centralizes and simplifies the booking process across an easy-to-use web and mobile app interface. This makes sure non-employee travel stays a perk and not a pain for all those involved.
Once both sides connect to Pana, booking, expense management and reimbursement occur automatically. Pana integrates into existing TMC infrastructure and company billing systems. Streamlining many inefficient processes. Pana collects a fee from its customers for every trip it arranges.
This travel solution has hit a sweet spot in the market. Eighteen months ago, Pana had zero revenue, and now it has a $2.5 million annual run rate and thrilled customers like Uber and Palantir.
Natty met Pana founder Devon Tivona in 2011, when Tivona was his intern, and remembered thinking even then, “Some day, I’m going to work for this guy.” After college, Tivona turned down an offer at Flipboard to start the company that eventually became Pana and to participate in Techstars Boulder in 2014. Natty joined the Pana board as an observer a few years ago and has watched Tivona resurrect a company from the brink of failure and identify a significant, and overlooked, pain in the market. The two have been working together ever since. After raising two smaller rounds, Pana raised it’s Series A earlier this year from Bessemer Venture Partners and invited Matchstick to participate.
Founders: Devon Tivona, Sam Felsenthal
HQ: Denver, CO