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Flash Pack Raises $6.2M To Fight Loneliness With Travel

Flash Pack Raises $6.2M To Fight Loneliness With Travel

The group-based travel company looks to create enduring friendships for those in their 30s and 40s

Traveling can take an individual from the hamster wheel of daily life to mountain tops or seascapes, providing a new perspective and a chance to reinvigorate and reset. It’s also a burgeoning sector, as consumers continue to book getaways for their mental health and well-being. One startup has just received a golden ticket, raising $6.2 million: Flash Pack, an adventure-focused travel company for solo travelers in their 30s and 40s.

Unlike other travel companies, Flash Pack isn’t looking just to create memories and craft itineraries — its core mission is to create a million friendships through the shared experience of boutique travel. According to the travel company, 98% of its customers travel solo, with 80% remaining friends. 

The latest funding will go towards Flash Pack’s platform and hiring. JamJar Investments led the fundraising round with participation from existing investor PPF.

Travelers Seek Human Connection, Not Souvenirs

Much like the fitness industry, Flash Pack has discovered consumers are eager to seek connection in the post-pandemic environment — whether through group fitness, wellness retreats or experiential experiences.

Aside from the difficulty of making friends as an adult, for others, life has become mundane, exacerbated by a loneliness epidemic. According to an advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General, loneliness is more widespread than other major health issues in the country and is considered a major public health concern, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

But the most intrepid consumers are ready to pack their bags for a solo trip, hoping to meet new friends as they embark on an adventure. That’s where Flash Pack comes in, identifying the U.S. market as its fastest-growing, with 60% of its total trip sales driven by demand from American travelers.

“We have seen a massive appetite from customers to build meaningful connections through travel,” said Radha Vyas, CEO and co-founder of Flash Pack. “Solo travel has rapidly grown in popularity as people look to make up for lost time and expand their horizons, and the recent investment indicates the value and opportunity in this growing trend.”

Flash Pack founders Lee Thompson and Radha Vyas (credit: Flash Pack)

Using the experience and expertise of trusted local guides, Flash Pack allows travelers to book unique experiences, such as Land Rover “glamping” in the Serengeti, a three-day white water rafting journey on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica or attending a Lucha Libre wrestling match in Mexico City. 

Solo travelers can opt for short getaways (four to eight days) or longer trips (eight to 15 days) and select from settings like beach, city or safari. Flash Pack also offers special categories for those looking to escape crowds, first-timers and even those who love the cold. For travelers looking for wellness experiences, Flash Pack provides a chance to unwind with aerial yoga in Bali and guided medications in Sri Lanka. Active travelers and fitness enthusiasts may prefer climbing Peru’s Rainbow Mountain or Bali’s Mount Batur, surfing in Morocco or quad biking in Turkey.

While the variety of experiences can entertain and create life-long memories, they also gather together like-minded adults attracted to similar interests.

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credit: Flash Pack

Comeback Story

Flash Pack has been on its own adventure, forced into bankruptcy three years ago due to COVID-related travel experiences. Still, Vyas wasn’t ready to give up and relaunched the company in 2021 with the backing of PPF. Since then, Flash Pack has grown to a team of 65 employees and plans to triple its U.S. employee count in the next six months.

Richard Reed, JamJar Investments co-founder, commented that more needs to be done by investors to fund female-founded ventures, particularly from women of color. Vyas is one of the few (0.8%) South Asian female founders to have secured investment at this stage. 

“Flash Pack is not just revolutionizing the way people travel, but how we interact with one another,” Reed said. “Under Radha’s leadership, Flash Pack has escaped the fate of the pandemic and come out better than ever, and so we have high hopes for what they will achieve over the next three years.”

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