SaaS Platform SION Secures $3.2 MM in Seed Funding to Empower Travel Advisors
SION, a SaaS platform that manages commission payments for travel advisors and agencies, today announced $3.2 million in seed funding led by TIA Ventures with participation from SmartFlyer and Virtuoso to advance its promotion of a more robust and open travel tech ecosystem.
SION will use the funding to accelerate product development and create automated commission chasing, ramp up integrations, and launch a new payment processing system. This will further instill SION as a robust resource for travel advisors to support their growing businesses, improve organization and payment processing, and increase profitability. The company’s new funding follows $1.3 million it secured in a pre-seed round in 2020.
As a long-time travel advisor, there was limited technology to help agents build successful businesses within the industry. Before SION, we spent most of our time invoicing and chasing down commissions, which was an all-consuming and tedious process. Kathleen Sullivan, Anthology travel
Accelerating Growth and Enhancing Industry Efficiency
This funding milestone enables us to double down on our vision to help travel advisors get total visibility across their entire business, and most importantly, get paid,” said COO and co-founder Alfons Musry. “It not only helps to further our commitment to evolve the antiquated ways of the travel agency industry, but it helps speed up our plans to bring more tools and capabilities to the platform and grow our community of users. We’re excited for what the future holds at SION, especially with the travel industry making such strides since the pandemic.”
SION has revolutionized the way travel advisors work with the simplest way to track and manage travel commissions. Its software platform brings efficiency, accountability, and transparency to travel advisors and agencies. Once a travel booking is made, SION automates all the core elements including the payment status, commission split, supplier invoicing and interactive real-time reporting. When agencies work with SION, they can spend less administrative time and energy getting paid, enabling them to focus their energy on their own travel clients and winning more business. This winter, SION is debuting a groundbreaking and integral part of the platform: a payment processing system that will automatically allow payments to flow through the system. Rather than taking six to eight weeks, SION pays in real time.
“As a long-time travel advisor, there was limited technology to help agents build successful businesses within the industry. Before SION, we spent most of our time invoicing and chasing down commissions, which was an all-consuming and tedious process,” said CEO and co-founder Irving Betesh. “We’ve created something that makes a significant impact within the industry and improves all aspects of how travel agents run their business, focusing on the back office so they can spend more time closing new business. We’re grateful to have created a platform that empowers travel agents and increases administrative efficiency and profitability.”
In 2019, SION was born out of a travel agent’s frustration with relying on commissions for a majority of their income, but being burdened with receiving the commissions when they’re due. Within the industry, commissions represent over 80 percent of travel agency revenue, but more than 40 percent of commissions contain discrepancies or don’t get paid. Like the source of many new ideas, co-founders Betesh and Musry recognized this problem of missing, unclaimed and unmatched payments and sought a solution. Until SION, there had never been a simple system for entering, invoicing and tracking payments of travel agent sales made. SION created a centralized online dashboard interface to connect all the parties and manage the workflow to solve all the pain points of commission flow and management. The startup’s impressive portfolio of clients includes everything from individual travel advisors to larger notable agencies.
“The SION team has a strong combination of industry expertise and technical product development skills,” said William Hapworth, co-founder and general partner at TIA Ventures. “The result is that they’ve created software that is highly intuitive to professionals in the industry that executes processes in one click and feels like magic, saving hours of time per week while recovering money that is owed. Agencies that use SION will be able to attract and retain the top travel advisors who are essential to their business growth.”
Since releasing the send invoice feature, SION has been responsible for the collection of more than 85 percent of delinquent invoices, a common pain point within the industry. With more than 1,500 agents subscribed to the platform, SION is currently managing approximately $2.2 billion in booking revenue.
- SION is a New York City Metro-based global technology company serving the needs of the travel advisor industry. It exists to make travel advisors’ lives easier through its powerfully simple software.
- SION’s first-of-its-kind streamlined interface, advanced features, and game-changing automation eliminate the headache of commission tracking and payment reconciliations experienced by travel advisors the world over. It frequently has been described by users as revolutionary.
- In 2019, SION graduated from the prestigious Virtuoso Travel Incubator program and is also partnered with such travel heavyweights as Sabre, Amadeus and IATA.
About TIA Ventures
- TIA Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital fund focused on helping B2B software companies scale into industry standards.
- We are customer-obsessed, relentless about creating winning teams, operators and builders, long-term partners, consistent, and proven.