If your company lets you expense the nicest hotel when you travel, why wouldn’t you?
But what if you got to split the savings with your employer by selecting a less expensive hotel?
A New York-based startup called Rocketrip believes most employees will opt to save companies money if they are incentivized to do so. It’s built an enterprise platform that rewards employees with gift cards if they go under budget on travel and transportation.
After five years of signing up business clients like Twitter and Pandora, Rocketrip is raising $15 million in Series C funding led by GV (Google Ventures) to keep expanding. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Canaan Partners are also in the round.
Inspired by Google’s internal travel system, Rocketrip CEO Dan Ruch calls his solution a “behavioral change platform.” Employees “always optimize for self preservation, self interest” and are likely to book a cheaper flight if it means a gift card at a place like Amazon, Bloomingdale’s, or Home Depot, Ruch claims. He said that the average business trip booked by Rocketrip saves companies $208.
Ruch believes that Rocketrip has built a currency that motivates teams. He says some employees even gift Rocketrip points to congratulate colleagues on birthdays and promotions.
When it comes to enterprise platforms, Rocketrip is “one of those unique situations where everyone is really excited to use it,” said Canaan Partners’ Michael Gilroy, who holds a board seat.
Yet Rocketrip is not the only startup looking to help employees make money by cutting on costs. TripActions and TravelBank have also created similar businesses.
Gilroy insists that “Rocketrip was first” and that he views the others a “validation of the model.”
Rocketrip hopes to someday expand beyond travel to incentivize healthcare choices like quitting smoking. It also thinks companies will use Rocketrip points to reward employees for community service. “Any time we can motivate an employee,” there’s an opportunity for Rocketrip, Ruch believes.