Duffel raises $30M led by Index Ventures to disintermediate legacy travel platforms

Huge travel platforms that run airline booking systems like Sabre and Amadeus were invented eons ago and are so large and cumbersome that innovating with them is no easy feat. In the same way that challenger banks have come along to re-invent the banking software Starck, U.K. startup Duffel has done the same in the travel market, linking up airlines directly with travel agents with a 21st century platform.

Today it has announced a $30 million Series B funding round from investors Index Ventures; existing investors Benchmark Capital and Blossom Capital also participated. Its airline partners already include American Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa Group, Aegean Airlines, Vueling and Iberia.

Duffel will use the new funds to hire more engineers and increase its broader team. It is focusing on expanding in North America and Europe, with its first customers drawn from the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany and Spain.

Duffel enables travel agencies to plug in directly to airlines’ reservation systems via an API so they can pull real-time flight offers, make bookings, access live seat availability and buy extra services. This means new digital and mobile app-based travel agencies — Duffel’s target market — can bypass the

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