A travel company which harnesses the power of social media influencers has made its first two investments.

Travel Seen was founded in 2021 by Jen Atkinson, the former CEO of ITC Travel Group, and received initial investment of £1.6m from Liverpool-based PE firm Arete Capital.

Earlier this year the company also received investment from Dez Derry, founder of Manchester customer acquisition specialist Blume.

Now Travel Seen has acquired a majority stake in Cheshire-based luxury travel agency Aquilium Travel and invested in the new sports and lifestyle travel business, Vedere Travel.

Both travel businesses will have a combined forecast revenue of £10m.

Atkinson said: “It has taken a while to get the infrastructure established and to find the right opportunity for our first investment, after all who sets up a travel business in a pandemic?

“However, this is an exciting step change for all involved and a door opener for many more investments.”

Social media travel company to take off

Aquilium Travel was set up in 2017 by experienced travel experts Gary Pridmore and David Mayer and Atkinson plans to increase the homeworkers’ division by using the Travel Seen social brand to generate high quality leads.

Vedere is due to be launched on November 27 and was founded by Alex Catton, formerly head of Spectate at ITC for eight years. It offers its clients access to prestigious sporting events worldwide.

Travel Seen matches holidaymakers to destinations through social media influencer content and aims to build the largest most engaged social following in travel and develop tech-enabled lead management system.

The travel agency drives bookings by sharing user driven content of the best hotels and holidays around the world, together with the best deals in the market.

Social Chain co-founder Dom McGregor and Georgina McSolrey, co-founder of Grow&Grow, will lead Travel Seen’s social strategy.

Travel agency entrepreneurs flying high after deal