LoungeBuddy raises cash, benefits from airport delays

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - LoungeBuddy, a business that allows travelers short-term access to airport lounges, said on Tuesday it had raised $3 million in venture capital, bringing the company’s valuation to $18 million.

The San Francisco-based company, which has raised a total of $4 million, aims to profit from increasing delays in air travel. In 2014, more than 21 percent of U.S. flights arrived late, according to the Department of Transportation. That was the highest since 2008.

Founders Fund, the venture firm founded by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, led the latest round in raising cash but will not take a board seat, LoungeBuddy said.

LoungeBuddy was founded in 2013 by the company’s chief executive Tyler Dikman, vice president of marketing Brent Griffith, and chief technology officer Zac Altman.

Using its app, travelers can identify and book an airport lounge for one-time and last-minute use, typically for a fee smaller than the one-time fees airlines charge. Some business travelers access LoungeBuddy through SAP owned Concur, which arranges travel for companies.

Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Diane Craft