In the world of venture capital, the gender gap is far from closed. A mere 2% of VC funding in 2022 found its way into the hands of female founders, with an even more disheartening 0.8% for those of South Asian descent. Despite this sobering trend, Flash Pack, a London-based adventure travel company, founded by the husband-wife duo Radha Vyas and Lee Thompson, has defied the odds to secure substantial funding.
Flash Pack, renowned for its unique boutique adventures tailored for solo travelers in their 30s and 40s, has successfully garnered a remarkable £5 million in investment. Notably, this achievement comes after overcoming nearly three years of battling bankruptcy during the challenging pandemic era.
Leading the investment charge is JamJar Investments, known for supporting groundbreaking ventures like Béa Fertility and Patch. Additionally, existing investors have shown their faith in Flash Pack's vision by contributing to this financial boost. With a total funding of £7.8 million, Flash Pack is now well-equipped to power its next phase of growth, driven by innovative technology developments and expansion into North America, a market where the company has seen a significant audience share surge to 60% in the past two years.
This move into North America is slated to kick off at the dawn of 2024, with plans to triple the number of US-based hires in just half a year.
Flash Pack's journey has been far from ordinary. Three years ago, the CEO and Co-founder, Radha Vyas, had to make the painful decision to close the business due to pandemic-induced travel restrictions, pushing it into administration. Yet, the phoenix rose from the ashes in 2021 with PPF's backing and a mission to facilitate a million friendships by curating authentic connections and perfecting the group dynamics of every trip.
Since emerging from these challenging circumstances, Flash Pack has enjoyed two consecutive years of remarkable growth. The company hosted solo travelers from every corner of the globe and expanded its team to 65 individuals across 11 countries.
Radha Vyas, CEO and Co-founder of Flash Pack, commented on their remarkable journey, “Solo travel has continued to grow in popularity as people look to expand their horizons and make up for lost time, but in the last two years, we have also seen an increased appetite for building meaningful connections through travel. We’re proud to be doing our part in helping to make cities like London less isolated, with 80% Flashpackers staying in touch after their trip. The recent investment indicates the value in this growing trend, and we’re incredibly excited to continue this success worldwide.”
Richard Reed, Co-Founder of JamJar Investments, emphasized their commitment to backing transformative ventures like Flash Pack, saying, “Flash Pack is not just revolutionizing the way people travel, but how we interact with one another. More needs to be done by investors to fund female-founded ventures, particularly from women of color. Under Radha’s leadership, Flash Pack has escaped the fate of the pandemic and come out better than ever, and so we have high hopes for what they will achieve over the next three years.”