LDC has made a significant investment in specialist software developer, 15below, as it looks to accelerate growth.

Founded in 2000, 15below is the market leader in hyper-personalised, automated passenger communications for the travel industry.

Headquartered in Brighton, 15below is led by co-founder and CEO Nicholas Key. It employs more than 90 people across its international network in the UK, Australia, India, Germany and Turkey.

The business has grown rapidly in recent years as travel companies continue to invest and enhance the service they provide to customers.

15below’s proprietary software platform enables its customers, mostly airlines, to keep passengers informed at every stage of their journey with minimal human intervention.

This includes operational updates on travel itineraries, booking confirmations and boarding passes, pre-departure communications, as well as real time updates on schedule changes and unplanned disruption.

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The company supports more than 60 airlines, rail operators, travel agencies and travel management companies worldwide, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways and TUI.

It’s also the strategic partner to global airline software systems providers Amadeus and Navitaire.

Its automated technology is used to communicate with one billion travellers a year and has many benefits for airlines and their customers, with the removal of human error in passenger communications as just one example.

As a result, travel companies that work with 15below improve passenger experience whilst delivering cost savings and increasing customer loyalty.

LDC is backing Nicholas Key and his management team as they embark on their five-year growth strategy.

This will include investment and support to further develop proprietary technology to support existing and new clients. As part of the transaction, Ian Wheeler, former Amadeus executive and Airline technology chair will join 15below as chair.

The transaction was led by LDC’s team in the South and London, including partner and head of South Aylesh Patel, and investment managers Josh Wachman and Francesca Speke. Patel and Wachman will join the board as non-executive directors.

Key, co-founder and CEO of 15below, said: “We put our customers and their passengers at the heart of everything we do, and our ultimate goal is to help travel companies go above and beyond when it comes to communications and customer service.

“We’re incredibly proud of the business we’ve built over the last two decades and the strength of our proposition. LDC is known for its commitment to supporting growth and innovation in businesses like ours.

Aylesh Patel, partner andhHead of South at LDC, added: “The importance of technology in providing seamless, hassle-free communications to customers across sectors continues to increase, and this is particularly evident in the global travel industry which has bounced back significantly since the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“Nick and the team at 15below are incredibly ambitious. They’ve not only developed a platform that meets this growing need but have cultivated a culture where talent can thrive and together this is fuelling the company’s growth. We’re excited to invest and support them to extend their capabilities, bringing to life more of the exciting ideas in their product roadmap.”

Since 2012, private equity investorLDC has invested over £650m into more than 35 fast growing technology businesses.