BOSTON, MA (June 16, 2010) – Smart Destinations Inc., the company behind Go City Cards and Explorer Passes, announced that it recently closed on $3Million in debt financing. The additional capital will help the company move forward with continued enhancements to its technology infrastructure for the planning, booking, and redemption of in-destination activities.
"This is the last frontier of travel technology,” said Kevin McLaughlin, co-founder and CEO of Smart Destinations. "Flights, hotels, and rental cars have all had their planning and booking paths radically overhauled by the Internet and other customer facing technologies. In terms of booking the things people do when they reach their destinations, it remains almost virgin territory. People still walk up to ticket desks to pay full price. There is more spending on this segment of travel than any other, so it’s a huge opportunity and overdue for a change.”
McLaughlin went on to say that Smart Destinations already had many of the pieces in place and actively running to drive such a change. “We’ve got our ticketing platform installed in over 425 museums, sights, and tours across North America. Places like the Field Museum, SeaWorld, the Empire State Building, Madame Taussauds, Gray Line, and so on, all the must-sees. We’ve driven 4 million customer visits to these partners already, so everything works and is scalable. We have coverage in the key travel markets and distribution through most of the big travel players. So we’re extremely well positioned to do for sightseeing and attraction visits what OpenTable is doing in the restaurant space.”
While the specific nature of the technology efforts supported by the new funding were not revealed, Mclaughlin said that it would be concentrated on continuing to expand and extend the company’s ability to overhaul the in-destination activities market. “We’ve made a great start with an offering that brings visitors to our attraction partners; saves travelers time and money; and effectively aggregates a fragmented space for our distribution channels. We have a clear roadmap to take it to the next level and create an even more valuable offering for all of these constituents.”
The funding was led by MMV Financial of Toronto. MMV offers long-term venture loans for venture backed technology and life science companies in North America. Its approach allows companies to quickly access growth capital with limited dilution. Some of their clients include, Click Squared, Diablo Technologies, Inc. Laszlo Systems, and Lucid Media Networks, Inc.
“When many were saying that ‘flat is the new up,’ Smart Destinations continued to grow its top and bottom lines during the recession,” said Brad Steele of MMV Financial, “We are happy to support such a steadily growing and innovative company.”
Square 1 Bank of Durham, NC has also provided an additional $1M in available debt financing. Square 1 Bank is a full service commercial bank dedicated to providing financial services to venture capital firms and entrepreneurs in all stages of growth and expansion.
About Smart Destinations
Smart Destinations is the premier provider of unlimited admission attraction passes in 14 major North American travel destinations from Oahu to New York City. Smart Destinations’ Go Cards and Explorer Passes offer pre-paid access to over 425 museums, attractions, and tours for one fixed price. The combination of savings and convenience has resulted in 94% customer satisfaction as measured by 3rd party research and helped the company rank 78 on the 2008 Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies. Distributed through major travel services in 25 countries and on the Web, Smart Destinations’ products are a “trusted companion” for the best a destination has to offer at an unbeatable price point. For more information on program participation, the company, and its products, visit www.smartdestinations.com.
MMV Financial is a specialty finance company providing creative debt solutions directly to technology and life sciences companies across North America. MMV is backed by top U.S. and Canadian private equity firms and financial institutions including CCP Equity Partners, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, HSBC Bank Canada, ROI Capital and Wells Fargo Company. For more information please visit www.mmvf.com.
For Smart Destinations
For MMV Financial
Senior Vice President