A new UK-based travel brand that creates enriching experiences in culture, art and nature has announced its consumer launch in 2022.
The Luminaire has secured £2.7 million seed investment including backing by the founders of a US-based investment group with a long track record as investors and operators.
It says it plays to the rise of a new archetype of curious traveller which wants to know more about the world and learn new skills rather than collect souvenirs or Instagram memories.
The Luminaire fields an international team of experts across a variety of subjects, from art to archaeology and astronomy. These curate deeply personalised experiences for guests, depending on their specific interests and passions.
Its aim is to build the travel company of the future by adopting a digital-first approach, such as incorporating AI to understand and serve customer preferences more efficiently, a challenge CEO Adam Sebba terms “personalisation-at-scale”.
Sebba has worked over a 20-year career as a chief executive in luxury, travel and fashion. Counting five years on the screening committee of the Harvard Business Angels and being a Walpole Brands of Tomorrow Mentor for the innovative Suitcase magazine amongst his experience, Adam has previously worked in Diageo’s early-stage VC arm, Distil Ventures, investing in premium spirits, and ran the luxury fashion brand Antonio Berardi. He started his business career at the turnaround and strategy consulting firm AlixPartners.
Co-founder and CMO, Nicholas Priest, who has created the brand world, was Global Head of Marketing at AMAN Resorts for five years and also held senior leadership roles at three other of the world’s leading hotel and travel brands, Andre Balazs Properties, One&Only Resorts and NetJets Europe.
The third co-founder and COO, Ed Hicks, is a Harvard-schooled lawyer, a corporate adviser and investment strategist. With deep experience in advising companies navigating complex operational and legal issues at pivotal moments of change, he is also passionate about learning and education and previously founded a private tutoring business.
Seeking to pursue a venture in education, Ed brought investors and the other founders together, helping broker the initial investment.
“We are reinventing educational travel. There is no brand currently in existence that delivers truly substantive but accessible and stimulating travel experiences, which appeals across the generations. This is what The Luminaire stands for,” said Sebba.
“The last two years have reminded us all that learning is priceless and knowledge is timeless. The trend I am seeing is a move beyond experiences, which are naturally ephemeral and transient, to a consumption of meaningful knowledge and learning.”