Marcelo Linhares, partner at Onfly.
With funding from Cedro Capital, the corporate travel startup intends to grow despite the pandemic.
Onfly, a corporate travel and expense management startup from Minas Gerais, Brazil, has received a R$2 million investment from Cedro Capital, an asset manager based in Brasilia.
Created in 2018, the startup has Marcelo Linhares and Elvis Soares as founders, in addition to having Daniel Bento, former CEO of Decolar, in the role of advisor.
The travel-tech is focused on small and medium-sized companies, managing the entire travel policy, reimbursement flow, and expense approvals, as well as delivering a self-booking platform for tickets and hotels with up to 40% discount.
With more than 1,000 clients throughout Brazil, the startup moved R$1.8 million monthly before the pandemic.
According to Onfly, the first contact with Cedro Capital took place in January 2020, but the company was growing a lot and at that time the investment did not make sense. However, the pandemic made the scenario change.
“Our industry was one of the hardest hit due to Covid-19. Business travel almost came to a halt during the pandemic, forcing many companies to hold virtual meetings because of the restrictions. The worst sales month was April 2020, when they practically zeroed out their trips,” says Marcelo Linhares, CEO and co-founder of Onfly.
In June last year, the negotiation was resumed and the process lasted five months.
According to Alessandro Machado, partner and director of Cedro Capital, Onfly drew attention in 2019 with some aspects of market positioning, as a digital corporate agency, quality of the platform in terms of usability and price competitiveness.
“When the pandemic came, we saw the acceleration of digitization of services in various sectors, from retail to education, so we focused on the opportunity. When corporate travel returns to normal, companies will be back more digital than ever, and Onfly is ready,” says Machado.
With the investment, Onfly gains the liquidity it considers necessary to grow despite the impact caused by the pandemic. According to Skift Research, Brazil has taken back about 50% of the passenger volume and the trend is growing.
“Even at 60% or 70% of past volume, Onfly will have a large market to tap into for companies that will be looking for efficiency by digitizing their travel processes,” projects the Cedar Capital director.
For this year, the startup’s perspective is to move R$45 million in trips, a volume five times bigger than last year, which closed at R$8.5 million. By 2025, the plans are ambitious: the company expects revenues of R$ 1 billion in the period.
“We are well aligned with our goals and optimistic about the arrival of the vaccine. We believe in exponential growth, especially in the second half of the year,” says Onfly’s CEO.
To this end, the company is working on the evolution of the platform, launching four to five new features per month, hiring professionals in technology, marketing, and sales, and automating operational processes.
Founded in 2013, Cedro Capital focuses on companies in the Midwest, Tocantins and Minas Gerais. The manager has the startups Configr, Getrak, Kanttum, iMedicina, Apura, Gura, XVision, Xodó, Nucont, and Portal de Compras Públicas in its portfolio.