Swiipr, a travel paytech company transforming the airline industry’s outdated and inefficient disruption payments systems, has secured £6 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by Octopus Ventures.

Swiipr is enabling airlines to digitise disruption payments, greatly enhancing the passenger experience and driving cost efficiency by up to 60%. Having launched in 2020, Swiipr is already used by 26 airlines across 70 countries, including a major flag carrier whose 4,000 staff are utilising the platform in over 167 of its airports globally.  

Over 500m global passengers are estimated to be affected by flight disruption each year, costing airlines billions of dollars in payouts as well as significant customer dissatisfaction, reputational damage and regulatory fines, making compensation a board agenda issue for airlines.

Paper vouchers in particular are time-consuming to process and issue, fraud prone, notoriously retailer and passenger unfriendly, and environmentally unsustainable. Bank transfers can take months to process, physical cash is insecure and expensive to handle at airports, and loyalty points and future travel vouchers are often unpopular.

Swiipr’s integrated digital platform, including virtual and physical pre-paid compensation cards and a mobile app, give airlines the tools they need to solve these pain points for both themselves and passengers, whilst being fully compliant with the latest passenger rights regulations.

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For passengers, Swiipr has launched the Swiipr Compensation Card, which enables airlines to distribute funds directly to passengers at the point of disruption (such as denied boarding or lost luggage), and the Swiipr Welfare Card, which enables airlines to instantly distribute food & beverage payments when flights are delayed. The cards offer instant, secure and compliant payouts, in a streamlined, digital format that has universal retail compatibility.

The platform also helps airlines slash fraud and processing time, boost loyalty through personalised offers and gain critical customer retail insights. Furthermore, airlines are also able to use Swiipr’s card products for operational and crisis payments for their staff and crew, during trips and delays.

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TX Ventures and Solano Partners supported Octopus on the funding round. The capital will be deployed to develop Swiipr’s strategy, product and technology, including investment into R&D, AI and data analytics and to drive international airline market growth.  

“Legacy compensation systems are unfit for purpose. Not only do they cost an airline billions of dollars every year but they also exacerbate disruption and stress,” said Tara Spielhagen, co-founder and CEO. 

“It doesn’t need to be this way in a digital age, and we are proud to have developed a new solution that solves so many pain points. Our airline partners and their customers are already reaping the benefits.”

Tosin Agbabiaka, principal at Octopus Ventures, added: “We’ve been impressed by the power of Swiipr’s offering to fundamentally transform compensation payments, delivering the scale and efficiency of modern payments to the airline industry while significantly improving the travel experience for their customers.

“Swiipr’s founders bring the depth of expertise in both the payments and travel industries necessary to tackle the airline compensation challenge. This complimentary skillset, and the effectiveness of its solution, have enabled Swiipr to already gain strong traction with major global carriers this early in its development.”

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