The Funds will Accelerate the Next Evolution of the Innovative Travel Agency’s Technology for Travel Advisors
New York, NY: Fora, a tech-forward travel agency ushering in a new generation of entrepreneurs, announced $13.5 million in Series A funding co-led by Heartcore Capital and Forerunner. Fora will use the funding to accelerate the next evolution of its platform: an innovative client and booking management system – the first of its kind in the industry – exclusively for its community of travel advisors. The funding will also be used to boost marketing and business development, and build best-in-class training programs for its community of advisors.
Since launching in August 2021, Fora has redefined the concept of a travel agency, and given the notoriously antiquated industry a makeover as a result. Led by longtime travel professionals and successful repeat founders, Fora targets an emerging generation of entrepreneurs: these are the individuals who are passionate about travel but never once considered booking trips as an income stream. Enter Fora, which provides all the resources needed to launch a career as a travel agent.
Since its inception, Fora has experienced exponential growth and now boasts nearly 500 advisors around the world, with more than 30,000 people on the waitlist. 97 percent of Fora Advisors had never sold travel previously, proving that Fora was the linchpin in empowering people to transform their passion into a career.
“This funding milestone enables us to double down on our vision to become a leading travel agency, with a first-of-its-kind platform for advisors,” said Jake Peters, co-founder and chief product & technology officer at Fora. “Our goal is to make our advisors’ job as seamless as possible, with an accessible user experience and system that will grow with our advisors, but not be overwhelming.”
This integrated portal offers Fora Advisors, both new to the industry and experienced professionals, all the information they need to book travel at their fingertips. This includes an easy discovery tool for preferred partner perks, destination and resort overviews, secure credit card management, client management and much more. In addition, the portal offers a real-time update on commission payments.
Fora also offers tech-enabled marketing tools to ensure advisors can seamlessly drive demand to their network. A new and innovative marketing feature is the “magic blog,” a tool which allows Fora Advisors to customize and share travel content with the push of a button. With this feature, advisors can personalize articles written by Fora’s in-house creative team – including hotel roundups shaped by bookings data and industry experts – to include their own byline and calls-to-action to get in touch. Advisors also have access to branded email templates touting hotel exclusives and seasonal offers. Adding to the content marketing equation, Fora Advisors can set up a profile on Fora's website and showcase their own trip itineraries, bio and areas of expertise. With this technology, advisors can skip the heavy lifting of content marketing and do what they do best: plan trips.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel spending hit a new pandemic high of $101 billion in May 2022. The American Society of Travel Advisors reports that nearly half of travelers (44 percent) estimate they are more likely to use a travel advisor when the pandemic is over. With travel advisors in more demand than ever, Fora is perfectly positioned to revolutionize the industry.
“Heartcore is excited to be underwriting Fora's exceptional growth in a strategic space in travel,” said Max Niederhofer, partner at Heartcore Capital. “The narrative of venture investment in tourism has been one of disintermediation and automation. But unforgettable experiences are best planned with the depth of insight and level of care that only a personalized, one-on-one booking experience can provide. We believe Fora is the ultimate career opportunity for a new generation of passionate travel entrepreneurs: a chance to build a thriving and flexible business offering phenomenal trips with all the perks of the traditional agency model.”
The team at Fora is dedicated to more than just building a tech-forward company. They’re focused on empowering people to earn money doing what they are passionate about.
“Originally, we wanted to create a new kind of travel agency so anyone who loves travel could join and earn income,” said Henley Vazquez, co-founder of Fora. “The funding not only helps speed up our plans to build our community of travel advisors, but it furthers our commitment to bring people together through travel. We are very excited for what the future holds and how this will continue to change the industry.”