Traveltech company Swiipr has raised £6 million in Series A funding to digitally transform airline disruption payments.

Over 500 million global passengers are estimated to be affected by flight disruption annually, costing airlines billions of dollars in payouts as well as significant customer dissatisfaction, reputational damage and regulatory fines, making compensation a board agenda issue for airlines. 

Paper vouchers are time-consuming to process and issue, fraud-prone, notoriously retailer and passenger unfriendly, and environmentally unsustainable. Bank transfers can take months to process, physical cash is insecure and expensive to handle at airports, and loyalty points and future travel vouchers are often unpopular.

Launched in 2020, Swiipr enables airlines to digitise disruption payments, greatly enhancing the passenger experience and driving cost efficiency by up to 60 per cent. 

Its integrated digital platform, including virtual and physical pre-paid compensation cards and a mobile app, gives airlines the tools they need to solve these pain points for both themselves and passengers, whilst being fully compliant with the latest passenger rights regulations. 

Swiipr is already used by 26 airlines in 70 countries, including a major flag carrier whose 4,000 staff use the platform in over 167 of its airports globally.

For passengers, Swiipr has launched the Swiipr Compensation Card, which enables airlines to distribute funds directly to passengers at the point of disruption (such as denied boarding or lost luggage), and the Swiipr Welfare Card, which enables airlines to instantly distribute food & beverage payments when flights are delayed. 

The cards offer instant, secure, and compliant payouts in a streamlined, digital format that is universally retail compatible.

The platform also helps airlines slash fraud and processing time, boost loyalty through personalised offers and gain critical customer retail insights. Furthermore, airlines are also able to use Swiipr’s card products for operational and crisis payments for their staff and crew, during trips and delays.

 Octopus Ventures led the funding supported by  TX Ventures and Solano Partners. 

Tara Spielhagen, Co-founder and CEO of Swiipr said:

“Legacy compensation systems are unfit for purpose. Not only do they cost an airline billions of dollars every year but they also exacerbate disruption and stress.

It doesn’t need to be this way in a digital age, and we are proud to have developed a new solution that solves so many pain points. Our airline partners and their customers are already reaping the benefits”

Tosin Agbabiaka, Principal at Octopus Ventures said:

“Swiipr’s founders bring the depth of expertise in both the payments and travel industries necessary to tackle the airline compensation challenge.

This complimentary skillset, and the effectiveness of its solution, have enabled Swiipr to already gain strong traction with major global carriers this early in its development.”

Jens Schleuniger, Managing Partner at TX Ventures, shared:

“Swiipr has developed a state-of-the-art payment solution that allows every airline to swiftly deal with compensation while offering significant benefits to both the passengers as well as the respective airlines.

Apart from the software solution itself we were particularly impressed by the two founders Tara and Ian as well as the traction that Swiipr has built. The team has been able to attract a number of tier 1 customers already and is clearly on the track to become a clear market leader in the passenger compensation category.”

The capital will be deployed to develop Swiipr’s strategy, product and technology, including investment into R&D, AI and data analytics and to drive international airline market growth.

Lead image: Swiipr.