Key Travel


Key Travel

Key Travel

Sector: Business Services

Status: In Portfolio

Fund: II

Deal type: Management buyout

Investment date: May 2018

We’re working with Key Travel – an international travel management company dedicated to non-profits – to double its size.

The London-based business serves charities in the humanitarian, faith and academic sectors. It operates in 54 countries and has more then 1,900 clients. 

Key Travel

Key Travel quote image

“We chose Elysian Capital to be our partner in the next phase of our growth as they share our values on building great companies while retaining a true sense of partnership, support and integrity with the management team and the underlying principles and mission of the business."

“Elysian were able to respond quickly and effectively, closing the deal in five weeks and so allowing our pre-emptive approach to succeed.”

Saad Hammad

Chief executive, Key Travel

Key Travel

Key Travel investment rationale

Investment rationale

We bought the company from its previous private equity owner in a five-week accelerated off-market deal.

The company had underpinned its success in the not-for-profit sector by building specialist skills in managing complex travel, becoming a trusted partner of suppliers, and investment in IT systems that facilitate customer service.

The market outlook for these sectors is favourable given the growth in funding for humanitarian aid development and the internationalisation of research, teaching and student enrolment.

Key Travel provides travel and risk management services to customers such as WWF and ActionAid, along with 40% of the top 24 research-based universities in the UK, including Oxford, Cambridge and King’s College London.

Creating value

We’re working with the management to expand its global business across new geographies and eventually double in size.

Since our investment, we’ve collaborated on new business development and acquisition opportunities.

In November 2018, Key Travel bought Raptim Humanitarian Travel, doubling Key Travel’s scale in the US and adding a significant, complementary platform in continental Europe.

Under our ownership, Key Travel has:

  • Acquired and integrated Raptim to add scale to European and US trade.
  • Increased productivity via material improvements to the company’s workflow and systems, including significant improvements to customer relationship management and online booking. 
  • Introduced new products such as offsetting, carbon-free rooms and vaccination booking.
  • Enabled global agency coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  
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