UpLift, a provider of consumer financing exclusively for the
purpose of travel, added another airline and two tour operators to its supplier
Lufthansa, American Airlines Vacations and Vacation Express
joined as supplier partners.
The company also received $200 million in additional lending
capability and $90 million in equity financing.
Among those participating in the new equity round are funds
managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, which contributed $75
million. Previous investors -- including former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford, PAR
Capital with Draper Nexus, and Highgate Ventures -- put up the other $15
UpLift CEO Brian Barth said its pay-monthly financing can
help close sales, lengthen booking windows and help enable ancillary sales.
The plan is currently only available to consumer-facing
supplier channels, but UpLift head of commercial Tom Botts said a pilot program
offering the same services through travel agents will begin in the spring. His
wife, Libbie Rice, is co-president of Ensemble.
"Of course, we're going to be agent-friendly, and
quickly. It's critical to my marriage as well as my professional life,"