A Disruptor Disrupted (C): TripActions Confronts a Global Pandemic

Published 11 Jan 2023
Reference 6689
Topic Strategy
Region Global
Length 7 page(s)
Language English

In February 2020, TripActions was a burgeoning corporate travel management scale-up, valued at $4 billion, having raised nearly $500 million since its founding in 2015 from venture capitalists including Lightspeed and A16Z. It had recently announced the launch of TripActions Liquid, an in-house payments platform to address the pain-points of travel expensing, and founders Ariel Cohen and Ilan Twig were exploring the acquisition of a large competitor that would quadruple TripActions’ headcount and double its client base. Yet trouble was brewing in the background. A new virus emerging out of China at the end of 2019 was resulting in regional travel restrictions and a significant decline in travel metrics, including business flights and hotel bookings. The case covers the launch and growth of TripActions from 2015 to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in February - April 2020, focusing on how it responded to the crisis in terms of its sales, product, and financing strategies.

Teaching objectives

The case allows discussion of strategy and strategic change in the context of a global pandemic that was particularly disruptive to the corporate travel and travel management industry. TripActions, a successful scale-up in this space, and itself a disruptor, faced a host of challenges as a result. Class discussion will encompass the company’s history, challenges, and strategic and operational responses to the global industry shock.

  • Scale-up
  • Travel Management
  • Fintech
  • Venture Capital
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic Change
  • Disruption
  • COVID-19
  • High Growth
  • Payments
  • Startup
  • Silicon Valley
  • Fundraising
  • Unicorn
  • Q12023