Making Science

Word-of-mouth sales platform Verve acquires Campus Vacations for $7m

Alyssa Clementi

Verve, the global word-of-mouth sales company focused on entertainment and travel, has acquired Campus Vacations, a provider of travel adventures and experiences to students in North America. Through the acquisition, Verve aims to expand its customer base into the Northeast United States and Canada, while also gaining access to the ski market. After acquiring Campus Vacations, Verve will now be able to offer trips to popular travel destinations such as Punta Cana and Cancun.

Verve, which was founded in 2014, uses brand ambassadors to sell experiences to friends, family, and fellow students, enabling ambassadors to earn tickets, trips, and other rewards. Verve has established partnerships with over 500 travel, hotel and sports brands across North America and Europe, including prominent ticket companies Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, Paylogic and Front Gate Tickets.

The purchase of Campus Vacations cost Verve $7m (£5.5m) in aggregate, combining cash, shares, and incentives over time. The buy-out comes less than a year after Verve’s $25m acquisition of JusCollege, a separate US-based student travel company. Multiple key members of the Campus Vacations team, such as co-founders Justin Van Camp, Alex Handa, and Eugene Winer, will be joining Verve, increasing the company total to 200 employees globally.

"Following the success of acquiring collegiate travel company JusCollege, and the resulting organic growth, we are continuing our aggressive expansion," said the Negus-Fancey brothers who founded Verve. "Campus Vacations gives us access to incredible destinations, increases our East Coast presence, delivers us a beachhead into ski, and brings us an incredible team. Not only have they built a fast-growing company that sells high-quality student travel packages, but like us, they understand the unique power and opportunity of harnessing the power of enthusiasts to elevate experiences for them and their friends."

"Joining Verve is very exciting for the future of Campus Vacations," said Justin Van Camp, co-founder of Campus Vacations. "With the support of Verve, we can enhance our experiences, grow our network of ambassadors and travelers, and offer them new opportunities. Campus Vacations has had an amazing journey so far and this is a big win for our team and travelers. We are grateful for this opportunity and excited about what we can achieve together."