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Flight Centre, the Australia-based travel agency group that is trying to get more digital and global, invested $7 million to take a 24.1 percent stake in Bibam, an Argentinian travel technology company.
Flight Centre said Bibam operates the Biblos brand and owns e-commerce player Avantrip.com. Based in Buenos Aires and employing 440 people, Bibam does about $240 million in gross bookings and is the second largest travel agency group in the country, Flight Centre said.
Flight Centre see the investment as helping it make gains in corporate travel and technology, in which Bibam has a presence, and views Argentina in particular and Latin America generally as expansion opportunities.
“We have had a long relationship with Biblos through its involvement in the FCM corporate travel network and have identified further growth opportunities in Argentina and throughout the Latin America region in corporate travel and in other sectors, particularly online,” said Dean Smith, Flight Centre Travel Group’s president in the Americas, in a statement. “We have been impressed with the company’s proprietary technology platform and the level of talent in the organization.”
With the investment, Smith gets a seat on the Bibam board.
Flight Centre has more than 30 brands, including Liberty Travel and GoGo Vacations, under its umbrella. In 2016, it acquired Boston-headquartered StudentUniverse and BYOjet.com, an Australia flight-booking site that’s expanded to Singapore, New Zealand and the UK.