All airlines need to strike a balance between direct and third-party sales online. The PROS acquisition of fast-growing tech vendor EveryMundo highlights the opportunity to change the mix.
“We have a roughly 45 percent overlap between our airline customers and theirs,” said Andres Reiner, CEO of PROS.
The acquisition announced Tuesday is PROS’ third in the airline arena since 2017 after buying Vayant and Travelaer.
PROS, which has a $1.6 billion market capitalization, began by helping airlines with pricing. But PROS also has many clients outside of the airline sector, and it plans to offer EveryMundo’s tools to these customers as well.
Miami-based EveryMundo was founded in 2006, but it found its footing more recently with sales of new products to airline customers such as American and United. Since the pandemic began, EveryMundo has grown its headcount by roughly half to 140 employees.
“Airlines had a lot of irons in the fire before the pandemic, but the crisis forced them to focus on upping their online marketing skills,” said Seth Cassel, president of EveryMundo. “That was serendipitous for us.”
Executives said the merger would help airlines with online selling by taking pages out of the playbooks of e-commerce giants such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and Trip.com Group. Customers will get greater scale, flexibility, and efficiencies in online selling and drive more sales on brand.com channels.
“The crisis prompted airlines to become more clued into the importance of owning the customer relationship and driving loyalty and lifetime value,” Cassel said. “They found that the notion of fare marketing, or putting the fares in front of the customers at every touchpoint, is the most effective way for them to drive a high quantity of high-quality potential customers to their websites and apps.”
For example, if a U.S. resident searches Google on the terms “flights from Miami to New York,” one of the organic, or non-advertising, search results is a link to American Airlines’ website, which has an interface showing the cheapest days of the month to fly and sample deals for specific budgets.
Another product example involves digital marketing. Some members of American Airlines’ loyalty program recently received emails presenting offers.
“If there’s anything in that email to the effect of, ‘Check out our new destinations’ or “Look at our deals under a certain dollar amount,’ that will almost always be linking to technology provided by us,” said Cassel.
Bootstrapped by CEO Anton Diego, EveryMundo has never taken outside venture capital.
“Acquisitions aren’t easy,” Reiner said. “But we see this deal as not about absorbing a brand but about supporting its growth strategies as an extension of us. If you have the right team and the right people and you create a common vision that we’re all aligned towards executing, you can drive significant value, as we’ve found with past acquisitions.”
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Photo credit: A passenger flies an United aircraft. United is a customer of both PROS and EveryMundo. Source: United.