Starts at 60, the Queensland-based media, marketing and e-commerce business serving the Baby Boomer market, has today announced the completion of a $2.7 million capital raising to support the expansion of its travel business, Travel at 60. Travel at 60 is packaging, marketing and online selling holiday packages and cruise deals specifically curated for digital-savvy over-60s.
The fund-raising round was led by Seven West Media, the sole investor in Starts at 60’s Series A funding round, and included investment by the Queensland Business Development Fund, Hollard Insurance, the QUT Bluebox and private investors.
“We’re thrilled to announce Starts at 60 has completed a $2.7 million capital raise to scale up our digital travel platform and packaging operations, Travel at 60,” Starts at 60 founder and CEO Rebecca Wilson said.
“This round will also see us explore other commercial opportunities in areas where there is a real need for curated products and services addressing the over-60s.
“The ongoing support of Seven West Media is terrific for the business and the incoming shareholders add to the journey ahead, bringing a variety of valuable synergy, knowledge and growth funding.
The $80 million Queensland Business Development Fund is a cornerstone investor in the round.
“Brisbane’s our home, we’ve got 26 staff here, so we’re delighted to have the support of the Queensland Government in growing our team, our innovative culture and our depth of opportunities here on the ground,” Wilson said. “It is a very unique and appealing opportunity for high-growth Queensland businesses.”
Brent Watts, head of investment at QUT’s commercialisation company bluebox, said “backing scalable businesses like Starts at 60 is vital to building critical mass in our startup founder community. It’s emerging leaders such as Rebecca Wilson and her team that are developing the innovative products, graduate employment and social opportunities of the future.”
“Jackie Trad, Queensland’s deputy premier and treasurer, said that supporting emerging companies through the BDF underpinned the government’s commitment to growing jobs and strengthening the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Starts at 60 has carefully moved into the travel sector over the last year, building a marketplace, travel-packaging team and full-service travel call centre in its Brisbane offices, while growing powerful demand for travel packages through its highly engaged community.
Travel is a sector that presents a strong opportunity for the six-year-old media, marketing and e-commerce business. Its entry into travel retailing has seen some early success, with near-100-strong group of Travel at 60 customers departing this week on a Cunard cruise, and the company enjoying month-on-month growth in total transacted value and size.
“Data show that more than 80 percent of the leisure travel spending in the western world is driven by the emerging Baby Boomer and retiree traveller, so building a scalable travel business is an exciting proposition for our team and for our community, which is really vocal about wanting bucket-list-quality holidays from a company they trust.”
Starts at 60 was founded by Rebecca Wilson in 2013 and has since grown to serve more than 1.2 million monthly users, with more than 6 million pageviews across the network. Its executive team spans content led by Christine Seib, technology led by Charl Sparks and travel led by Wendy Harch.
Starts at 60 enjoys some of the highest engagement rates on Facebook in Australian media and works in content and advertising partnerships with many of Australia’s most prominent brands, including major partners such as the Westpac Group and Industry SuperFunds.
Deloitte Queensland were advisers on the raise.
For more information please contact: [email protected] (07) 3139 0760