Media tech startup Culture Trip has landed a cool $80m (£57.27m) in Series B funding led by the PPF Group.

The funding will be used to grow and develop the business, including hiring new C-level staff  from Silicon Valley, to launch their online travel booking division later on this year and redesign its platform. 

Named in Forbes as one of five fast-growing UK companies to watch in 2017, the website hopes to provide cultural and travel inspiration to users looking to explore the world.

The funding will also be used to  expand its engineering and creative workforce and drive audience growth.

Culture Trip was founded in London in 2011 by former academic psychiatrist Dr Kris Naudts. He commented on the news: “I started Culture Trip with the ambition of applying my long-standing passion for global culture and creativity to building a tech company that could innovate in this space.

“With this game-changing investment, Culture Trip is focused on improving the current user experience and value proposition, with the aim of building a leading, global consumer brand that will disrupt the media and travel industries through its creative content and tech,” he added. 

Off the back of the raise, Culture Trip have recently added wish-lists, integrated Google Maps and planning tools, as well as making some key new hires.  

Joining as CMO, previous Facebook employee Mike Fox will oversee the company’s global marketing division with a focus on audience growth. Dick Soule, who was recently appointed as CRO, was the first head of global sales at YouTube. He will now focus on Culture Trip’s monetisation efforts.

Culture Trip currently employees 170 people across offices in New York, London and Tel Aviv. Its funding success began back in 2015 when the company received $2m in Seed funding, followed by a $20m Series A funding in late-2016m, also from PPF. 

The company claims to have 15 million monthly unique visitors, 5 million cross-platform social followers and 750,000 app downloads. It publishes 3,000 articles and videos every month spanning arts and culture, film and television, food and drink, home and design, sports, technology, travel, and wellness.

Ladislav Chvatal, chief officer for strategic projects of PPF Group, explained: “Having watched Culture Trip’s tremendous growth over the last few years, alongside the top talent and palpable passion inside the business, we see huge potential for it to truly revolutionise the media and travel industries.

PPF Group invests in FinTech, InsurTech, PropTech, Telecommunications and more, spanning Europe, Russia, USA and Asia.

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