Upside Travel

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Upside Travel is an American travel company.


The company was founded by Jay S. Walker, whom had previously founded the travel company[1] Based in Washington, D.C.,[2] Upside was launched in January 2017, and was used by ten thousand companies over its first year.[3] The company received $50 million in its first round of funding,[4] reaching a valuation of $200 million.[5][6] In the Summer of 2017, the company pivoted from package and gift card rewards to en route servicing.[7]


The platform is used by those engaging in business travel, in order to compile accommodations and transportation arrangements.[8] Packages are rated by the site, and search results can be refined by user-generated search parameters.[9] The company has named its platform a “flexibility engine”, which scores and analyzes the entire travel industry’s available options every twenty-four hours.[10] It is designed for use by employees of small and medium sized businesses.[11]

The platform is used by employees themselves instead of travel managers to create individual travel plans. In addition to their travel, users are given a retail gift card.[3][12][13] The gift cards are intended to try to convince employees booking their own travel to reduce the cost of their travel plans to their employers, by providing a portion of the savings to the employee themselves (via the card).[14][15]

In 2017 Upside further launched The Wall Street Journal Business Travel Service, which is a travel planning service available to subscribers to The Wall Street Journal as well as the public.[16]


  1. ^ Brady, Ryan Craggs,Paul. "5 Clever Ways to Score a Hotel Deal". CN Traveler.
  2. ^ "Priceline founder's DC-based travel site makes public debut". WTOP. 16 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b Gorce, Tammy La (28 August 2017). "Business Trip or Vacation? Travel Start-Ups Try to Blur the Line". New York Times.
  4. ^ "Skift's Most Interesting Corporate Travel Startups 2017". Skift. 22 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Priceline Founder Raises $50 Million for New Venture". Bloomberg. 16 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Upside's Big Valuation Shows Hunger for Biz Travel Tech — Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report". Skift. 19 January 2017.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Paging Frugal Business Travelers: A New Perk". Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Reiss, Robert. "The Five CEOs Who Are Reinventing Industry Through Digital". Forbes Magazine.
  11. ^ Gardner, Terry. "Here's the upside for business — and leisure travelers: A new site saves you money and rewards you with gift cards for doing so". Los Angeles Times.
  12. ^ Koenig, David. "Get ready for busy travel season; airlines could set record". Chicago Tribune.
  13. ^ Hobica, George (3 March 2017). "Here's a new travel booking site you REALLY haven't heard of yet". Huffington Post.
  14. ^ "The Man Who Told Leisure Travelers to 'Name Your Price' Would Like a Word With Business Travelers". Fortune Magazine.
  15. ^ "Tech Tools for Entrepreneurs". KTLA. 29 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Upside looks beyond US business travellers following WSJ deal". Tnooz.