Steve Singh

Redmond-based Concur has become more active with its investments in startup companies in recent months, taking stakes in travel-oriented Seattle area companies such as Buuteeq and Yapta.

Now, the maker of travel and entertainment expense management software is formalizing its investment program, creating a new $150 million fund for emerging travel-oriented startups. The goal, according to the company, is to meet the “needs of business travelers, the companies that they work for and the suppliers that serve them.”

Dubbed the Concur Perfect Trip Fund, CEO Steve Singh said that they are leveraging their balance sheet to “foster innovation and nurture game-changing technologies.”

Concur has a market value of $3.35 billion. It finished its fiscal fourth quarter with revenue of $117.9 million, and cash flow from operations of $37 million.

In addition to the Seattle area startups such as Buuteeq and Yapta, Concur also holds stakes in companies such as Room 77; Cleartrip and TaxiMagic. Today, it announced a $2 million investment in Evature, which is developing natural-language search capabilities for online travel.

Singh also has been getting more engaged in the startup community around Seattle, for example taking a board seat at materials science upstart Modumetal.

Concur is not alone in terms of carving off a portion of its riches for startup investments specifically tied to its industry. The company’s neighbor, Microsoft, earlier this formed the Bing Fund to help new startups get off the ground.

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  • Patrick Husting

    Why not invest it in your own company building travel related startups?

    • Drew Meyers

      Certainly part of the strategy behind this is making sure they are aware of the innovations happening in the travel space. If someone is going to compete with them, they ideally want to know about those companies well in advance…this is one strategy to help them do that.

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