Corporate travel is a $1.3 trillion global industry and enterprises in the U.S. spent more than $300 billion in travel last year alone. Denver-based Pana is making it easier for managing processes involving corporate travel.
Pana started as an on-demand travel concierge service where users would send messages for requesting flights, hotels, and car rentals. And then Pana would reply with details to each user with two-tier monthly payments. Now Pana serves travel managers and group booking managers. Some of Pana’s customers include Quora, Shopify, Logitech, and over 100 others.
“Because we believe that travel experience matters, we started by tackling one of the earliest and most important corporate traveler experiences: their on-site interview,” wrote Pana co-founder and CEO Devon Tivona in a blog post. “By the time a candidate gets to the on-site, it’s critical their trip goes well—it’s the “first real date” between company and candidate. But today, since online booking tools weren’t built for this type of trip, recruiters end up playing “travel agent”, sending screenshots of flights to the candidate. Or worse, they start a “three-way email chain from hell” amongst the candidate, travel agent, and coordinator. (Buckle in for 20 to 30 emails sent back-and-forth!). These clunky and manual processes are time-consuming and create a bad impression on the candidate.”
Recently, Pana raised $10 million in Series A funding to do so. Bessemer Ventures led the round. Techstars, MergeLane Fund, and Matchstick Ventures also participated in this round. Including this funding round, Pana has raised $11.5 million total.
“The corporate travel industry is about to undergo a very similar metamorphosis that we’ve seen in the taxi industry with Uber and Lyft, online shopping and delivery services with Amazon, and short-term rentals with Airbnb,” added Kristina Shen of Bessemer.
Last year, Pana partnered with BCD Travel — which is the third largest corporate travel agency in the U.S. Agencies such as BCD have decades of experience managing travel programs for customers.
“We’ve been able to scale a global agent operations team with sustainable economics. And now, Pana can begin applying our hybrid digital and human platform to other complex and important travel workflows that are painful for our customers today,” added Tivona. “If a clunky spreadsheet or a dozen emails back-and-forth are required to get a trip together, we believe Pana can and will help.”
Procore, a Santa Barbara-based technology company, has been recognized for its outstanding experiences for interview candidates twice in a row by the Talent Board’s Candidate Experience (CandE) list. Pana helps Procore candidates book travel for interviews.
“At Procore we’re focused on providing an exceptional candidate experience, and Pana helps us ensure that any candidate needing to book travel for an interview finds it easy and enjoyable,” explained Procore Talent Ops Manager Amanda Babineaux, Talent Ops Manager at Procore. “Often times the first thing we hear from candidates when they arrive for an interview is how seamless and stress-free travel was, which goes a long way to helping make their entire interview experience a positive one.”
According to Virgin, bad candidate experiences cost the company more than $5 million in one year alone. And a LinkedIn report points out that 83% of candidates say that a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company that they once liked. This is even more of a reason why Pana’s services are essential.
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