The online company Options Away, that enables consumers to lock-in flight prices has secured a $3.5 million round of series A funding.
The round has been led by Chicago-based OCA Ventures together with Thayer Ventures and Chicago’s Pritzker Group Venture Capital.
Existing investors who participated in the round include European travel industry entrepreneurs led by Martyn Williams, chairman of Iglu.com.
Members include Andy Phillips, former chief executive of Priceline International, and Richard Downs, chief executive of Iglu.com.
New strategic investors include Don Carty, chairman of Virgin America and former Chairman and chief executive of American Airlines.
Also new to this round is Howard Tullman, chief executive of 1871, the largest entrepreneurial digital startup hub in the US.
The financing will be used to further scale Options Away’s solution through more aggressive sales, marketing and partnering, including expanding into international markets – and to further build out and refine its proprietary technology platform.
Robert Brown, chief executive and founder, said: “Our air fare ‘hold’ product, has put Options Away at the forefront of the exciting airline big-data and traveller engagement space.
“While we have already partnered with some of the biggest names in travel, this funding, coupled with the reach of our new investment partners, will allow us to further leverage our core B2B/API solutions for the benefit of new global travel partners.”
Ian Drury, general partner at OCA Ventures, added: “Options Away enables travel companies the ability to provide consumers with a valuable service – locking-in the price of a flight.
“This enables the provider to engage with customers throughout the hold period, building stickiness as well as the opportunity to sell ancillary products and services.
“The Options Away solution integrates seamlessly into the complex and competitive travel technology ecosystem, and has been adopted by an impressive set of leading travel partners in a very short period of time.
“We are very excited to partner with the Options Away management team, Thayer Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital and an impressive group of angels to launch the ‘next big thing’ in online travel.”
Options Away was founded in 2012 by Robert and Heidi Brown, who act as chief executive and chief marketing officer respectively.
The management team includes chief product officer and ex-Orbitz founding member Michael Harbin.