Taking a look at Serko’s most recent financials, it’s clear the company has ambitious goals for worldwide growth. It has been costly to scale the company, though, as it expands in the Americas and Europe. Read my analysis to find out more.
We also have an update on a French startup powering CWT’s attempt to increase hotel attachment and an Amadeus hack that turned out to be no big deal (supposedly). Oh, and Travelport is finally going private.
Check out these stories, and more, below.
— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Editor
Serko, Travel Tech Provider of Zeno, Nearly Doubles Headcount: Serko isn’t a huge company, but it’s finding success selling its Zeno corporate travel tools around the world. We’ll find out in 2020 how its international growth strategy truly fares.
Travelport Finally Goes Private This Week in $4.4 Billion Deal: By the end of this week, Travelport is expected to leave the public markets in a $4.4 billion leveraged buyout. After months of waiting, the company can finally move on to its next steps.
Accor Backs Chatbot Tech Builder Mindsay in $10 Million Funding Round: The funding of French startup Mindsay may be small news. But interviews with its customers Iberia and CWT suggest that a second wave of chatbot technology has stopped frustrating travelers with as many misunderstandings as the earlier tech did. That’s a big deal for the sector.
Lufthansa Will Adopt Dynamic Award Pricing for Its Loyalty Program: In moving to a dynamic-based system for selling award seats, Lufthansa will be the first European carrier to formally adopt the model. But will the program look like its American cousins?
Amadeus Traveler Data Exposed in a Thwarted Data Leak: Case closed. But data breaches seem never-ending.
The Future of Travel
Why Oyo and Ctrip Need Each Other: Bigger Reach in Asia: Oyo has more rooms in China than in India, but India is still its biggest revenue generator. A deal with Ctrip may help correct that imbalance.
Airbnb Eliminates Some Guest Fees to Take on Booking Holdings: Airbnb is clearly now well down the path toward a host-only fee structure. Chalk it up to its push toward onboarding hotels, which don’t charge guest fees, and Airbnb’s competition with Booking.com, which sees guest fees as unholy.
AirAsia Deputy CEO Confident That Becoming Amazon of Travel Is ‘Very Doable’: Lots of companies have plenty of data at their disposal to improve operations and personalize services. Whether AirAsia has the wherewithal to become a much broader e-commerce platform is a very open question.
Skift Senior Editor Andrew Sheivachman [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.