Skift Take

Concur officials are saying all the right things about the future of the company under SAP ownership. Sometimes acquisitions don't turn out exactly as one or both of the parties intended, so we'll just have to wait and see how it all turns out.

SAP closed on its $8.3 billion acquisition of Concur Technologies last week, and Concur officials are trying to get the word out that the travel and expense company won’t abandon some of its key initiatives.

In fact, Tim MacDonald, Concur’s executive vice president of platform and data services, told Skift a day after the acquisition closed that Concur completed some “add-on financing” in several of its Perfect Trip Fund investments in the last couple of weeks.

Over the past couple of years, Concur has invested in about a dozen travel-tech companies, including Cleartrip, Curb, EVA, Nor1, Room77, StaynTouch, Table 8, Trover, Visage, Yapta and Buuteeq, in an effort to support companies that it believes are making the goal of a perfect trip ever more achievable.

MacDonald declined to publicize which companies Concur replenished with additional funding this month.

He sought to counter a Skift article in September, SAP’s $8.3 Billion Acquisition of Concur Means the Death of the Perfect Trip.

MacDonald said Concur will still be monitoring the travel startup scene “very closely.”

“We are certainly not going to sit on the sidelines,” MacDonald said.

On other issues, MacDonald said that by the first half of 2015, the following suppliers will be live in Concur’s open-booking platform, TripLink. These include: United Airlines, InterContinental Hotels, Starwood, Airbnb, Avis, Marriott and Sixt.

In an investor presentation in London last week, Sabre CEO Tom Klein said Sabre has felt no impact from Concur’s TripLink, which has business travelers booking their trips directly on supplier websites, bypassing the global distribution systems of Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport.

MacDonald said it isn’t surprising that a large company such as Sabre hasn’t felt any impact from TripLink since, according to a Carlson Wagonlit Travel study, about half of business travel bookings already take place outside of corporations’ prescribed channels.

“The booking volume growth will really start to materialize in the next six months and we believe it will grow exponentially from there,” MacDonald said.

That’s assuming, of course, that new parent SAP is fully on board with the initiative.

MacDonald also said that Concur’s government travel contracts will not be impacted by Germany-based SAP’s ownership of Concur.

In other developments, travel management platform Rocketrip announced that it integrated with Concur to push common clients’ expense data to the Concur travel and expense solution.


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Tags: business travel, concur, open booking, sabre, sap, startups

Photo credit: Concur CEO Steve Singh and other company officials argue that the company will continue to pursue its strategic initiatives under the SAP banner. Concur Technologies

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