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TROOP raises $11m for South Africa expansion

TROOP co-founders Leonard Cremer and Dennis Vilovic. Photo: Supplied
TROOP co-founders Leonard Cremer and Dennis Vilovic. Photo: Supplied

TROOP, the global developer of corporate meeting technology and services, announced that it has secured $11million (about R201 million) in Series B funding to expand its presence in South Africa and globally.

TROOP plans to double its current employee base in South Africa in 2023 and build a team of 170 people globally by 2025.

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“TROOP’s expanding presence in South Africa comes at a crucial time, with the South African economy expected to make an upturn, and its meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) industry likely to grow considerably over the coming year,” said TROOP co-founder Leonard Cremer.

“We look forward to establishing deeper roots in the country since we first established TROOP in South Africa in 2021, as well as making our offerings and services more accessible across the continent.”

TROOP’s technology platform helps companies plan, book, expense, and manage logistics for in-person meetings, addressing the increased demand for group meetings due to the shift towards a distributed team environment. Its customer base ranges from start-ups to well-established global enterprises.

“As companies become increasingly hybrid or even fully remote, creating meaningful in-person interactions becomes more challenging than ever,” said Henry Ellenbogen, managing partner and chief investment officer at Durable Capital Partners LP, which led the Series B funding round.

“I believe TROOP sits at the forefront of the rapidly changing workplace and is well-positioned to deliver value for companies organising in-person meetings in a more remote world.”

Approximately 60% of companies have embraced a hybrid working environment, adding a further level of complexity to planning meetings. TROOP’s South African-based employees work remotely on a full-time basis, and the company has a presence in the United States and the United Kingdom, with plans to expand its resources in Spain.

“A portion of this investment will be allocated towards the continued growth of TROOP’s technology, customer success, and sales teams to support the broadening international footprint and rapid expansion across South African, Europe, and the US, and to deliver and launch TROOP: One, the company’s end-to-end meeting management platform due to launch later this year,” said Steve Singh, executive chairperson of TROOP and managing director at Madrona.

The TROOP: One platform will incorporate enhanced planning capabilities and expand into booking, management, and meetings expenses with deep technology integrations into best-in-class service providers including Spotnana, Center and others, offering flexibility for customers to work with their service providers of choice, delivering a superior customer experience and workflow for corporates planning in-person meetings.

“TROOP has transformed what has historically been a largely manual and time-intensive process into a self-serve platform that optimises meeting planning based on corporate goals including travel time, locations, flights, lodging, cost, CO2 reductions, and others,” said Singh.

“TROOP fills that need with a platform that is easy to deploy, can be used by anyone, and that now leverages local experts and skills to deliver unique meetings and event experiences.”

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