By Dennis Vilovic, Founder and Co-CEO
Before founding TROOP, I’ve worked many years as a consultant improving efficiency and accountability in how organizations operate introducing new data and technology into workflows to reduce manual and inefficient processes.
In my last job before becoming a tech founder, I worked with an international organization with thousands of people distributed all over the world. They were planning many in-person meetings and that’s where I realized how inaccurately manual and opinion-driven meeting planning was being handled.
During that job I met Leonard Cremer, a tech entrepreneur from South Africa, with whom I shared my frustration about the inefficiencies and opinion-based decision process around organizing meetings. We started to think about how we could leverage technology to produce data which would empower planners to make the “right” decisions, and this is what we came up with as our MVP.
Early supporters and recognition of TROOP
Our vision of making organizing meetings easy using technology and data gained great support and recognition from the early beginnings. In fact, we were lucky enough to raise some investment from friends, family and some well known angel investors like Rolf Schroemgens, Jaime Reneses or Richard Mullholland. In addition, we were able to get Johnny Thorsen as an early advocate and advisor on board.
As we kept on enhancing our technology and refining our vision, we were able to convince the industry that we were onto something important here. As a result, we managed to win several prestigious awards such as:
- Disrupt Award @ The Business Travel Show [London, UK, 2018]
- Hack the Journey @ Amadeus [Madrid, ES, 2018]
- Winner @ Techsylvania Startup Avalanche [Cluj, RO, 2018]
- Winner @ ACTE Tech Study [Paris, FR, 2019]
- Winner @ GBTA-LABTA Travel Takeoff [Los Angeles, USA, 2019]
- Winner @ BCD Travel Battle of the Pitches [Atlanta, USA, 2019]
- Innovation Award @ Phocuswright Conference [Ft. Lauderdale, USA, 2019]
The visibility gained with winning those awards helped us to sign large corporations as early adopters, as visionary industry leaders like Adrian Witschi understood from the very beginning the value we would create for our customers and that’s why Mondelez joined us as one of the early adopters.
Growing a Meeting Planning Business during the global pandemic
We just finished our third participation at the Business Travel Show in London in 2020 when Covid-19 changed the way we work, travel and meet. While travel and in-person meetings came to an almost complete shut-down, we saw an increased interest in our meeting planning technology: more and more corporations understood that when we are coming out of this pandemic, the way we look at meetings will need to be different.
Meeting planning has always been very difficult. Many factors were influencing decisions such as cost, availability, visas, weather, office locations, etc. But today other factors like travel restrictions, safety and sustainability are remarkably more important. The reality is that all these data points are distributed over many different sources and a manual collection and/or a planning based on opinions is just not good enough anymore.
A best-in-class meeting planning technology requires being able to bring all relevant data points together in real time within seconds. And that is what we have built!
TROOP – We believe organizing a meeting should be easy for anyone!
TROOP’s mission is to make organizing meetings easy!
In September 2021 we announced our next milestone: We raised an $8 million investment round to build a self-serving end-to-end meetings management solution connecting best-in-class technologies via micro-services. This vision is shared and supported by our Chairman of the Board and lead investor Steve Singh from Madrona Ventures, who is also co-founder and former CEO of Concur.
In addition, we managed to get amazing partners on board, including:
- Epic Ventures [US]
- GED CONEXO Ventures [ES]
- All Iron Ventures [ES]
- Plug and Play Ventures [US]
- Travel Tech 1 – Top Seed Labs [ES]
- Founders Factory [UK]
- Barney Harford [ex-CEO Orbit, ex-COO Uber and member of the board at United,]
- Rob Greyber [ex-President Egencia]
- Jim Lucier [ex-President Concur]
- Mike Eberhard [ex-President Concur]
Together we are building the future of meetings management. This is needed more than ever because today everyone is a meeting planner!
Do you want to know more about us? Book a demo now!