Tech startup achieves milestone as one of the few, Black-led travel brands to secure $1 million-plus investment deal
Tulsa, Okla. – July 12, 2023 – SquadTrip, an automated payment solution for large and small group trips, announced today a $1.3M funding round led by Atento Capital. The investment will support the startup’s mission to revolutionize the travel industry and provide enhanced experiences for both travelers and industry experts alike.
"With this investment deal, we can accomplish our goal of helping 50,000 group travel organizers boost sales and streamline operations,” says Darrien Watson, CEO of SquadTrip. “We are grateful for the confidence our investors have shown in us, and we are committed to delivering value to our growing user base."
The travel tech startup has achieved a significant milestone as one of the few, Black-owned travel software companies to secure an investment deal surpassing $1 million. This investment builds on Atento Capital’s $100M core fund launched in February 2023, which is focused on supporting the next generation of tech founders and helping to enable a more inclusive economy within Tulsa.
“With all the summer travel happening right now, it is more important than ever that we look to the companies working to solve inefficiencies and automate experiences,” Atento Capital’s Adele Weaver said. “We are thrilled to stand behind SquadTrip and its founders on their entrepreneurial journey. The team is a vital part of our mission to build an inclusive economy and unlock new opportunities in Tulsa.”
Founders Darrien Watson and Stevon Judd have generated $7 million in travel sales and 6,000 bookings. The business partners, who were college best friends, began their entrepreneurial journey by establishing an event ticketing platform for Black entrepreneurs and founded SquadTrip last year. An alum of Build in Tulsa Techstars Accelerator 2022, SquadTrip is making a company-wide transition from New York to Tulsa.
The booking platform empowers users to grow their businesses by offering a comprehensive suite of professional tools. With these features, travel organizers can create engaging itineraries, automate billing, set up payment plans, track revenue, and maintain seamless communication with guests.
“We are proud of what we have accomplished so far, and this funding will enable us to focus on talent recruitment in areas such as engineering, quality assessment, testing, PM, and design,” says Stevon Judd, Co-founder of SquadTrip.
SquadTrip is a platform for group travel organizers that helps them sell more and save time by providing the professional tools that make it easy to build a trip landing page, schedule auto-billing, and manage back-office operations. The all-in-one platform is ideal for group trip organizers, travel agents, and travel brands. Founders Darrien Watson and Stevon Judd are passionate about connecting people through travel experiences and events. To learn more, please visit https://www.squadtrip.com/,
About Atento Capital
Atento Capital is a Tulsa-based venture capital firm focused on unlocking unsung potential in early-stage founders through providing access to venture capital, human capital, and expanded professional networks. Atento Capital has created pathways to upward mobility and helped dozens of companies and entrepreneurs thrive in Tulsa’s tech ecosystem by democratizing access to venture capital for traditionally underinvested groups of people.
Press Release: Atento Capital