Employees waste tons of money through expense accounts because there’s no incentive to book flights early, stay at a modest hotel, or dine on the cheap. But a new startup called TravelBank can predict what employees should be spending on trips, help them file their expenses, and even give them cash rewards if they come in under budget.

TravelBank has raised a $10 million Series A round led by NEA and joined by Accel, and today is launching on iOS, Android, and web. It was co-founded by Duke Chung, who previously started and sold customer service startup Parature to Microsoft for $100 million.


“The way I look at entrepreneurship is that I like the categories that every company must have” says Chung. “And every company needs an expense product. It’s a basic function, and there’s huge opportunities to create something better.”

It’s not perceived as a sexy category

— -Duke Chung, TravelBank CEO

TravelBank is targeting small to medium businesses that are too tiny for its SAP-owned competitor Concur, which is designed for Fortune 5000 companies. TravelBank will be free to use at first, and though it plans to monetize it doesn’t have definitive plans for how. Eventually, it could charge per-seat or a percentage of savings.

travelbank-snapandgo“Expense management has been a very sleepy space. Maybe because it’s boring it doesn’t attract a lot of talent or innovation. It’s not perceived as a sexy category so there’s only a few competitors. I view that as an opportunity” Chung tells TechCrunch.

TravelBank will be spending much of the $10 million it raised a few months ago on marketing and sales for its newly launched apps. But it benefits from the bottom-up distribution process popularized by Dropbox, and the fact that it’s starting free.

Any employee can sign up and use TravelBank to submit expenses and process their reimbursements by simply taking photos and uploading them with the app. It integrates with popular “general ledger” business software like QuickBooks, NetSuite, or Bill.com. TravelBank can export expenses as PDFs for easy backwards-compatibility with some legacy expense systems.

If users convince the rest of their company to get on TravelBank, their employers can activate the rewards feature that estimates what employees should pay for flights, car rentals, hotels, and meals based on real-time price analysis. If employees are frugal, they can get a portion of that unburnt cash as a thank you for saving their employer money.

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