Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Travel Technology

Travelport Integrates Corporate Booking Tool Following Deem Acquisition

7 months ago

Travelport has completed the integration of corporate booking tool Deem, which it acquired earlier this year

Travelport — along with its two larger competitors, public companies Amadeus and Sabre — primarily act as marketplaces to connect airlines and travel agents. 

While Amadeus and Sabre have had in-house corporate travel booking tools in recent years, Travelport has not since it sold Locomote in 2019.

The Deem tool is now part of Travelport+, the next generation of the booking platform for travel agents that Travelport has been developing over the past two years. And agencies that had been using Deem can now access Travelport data through the platform, which is still also compatible with data from Amadeus and Sabre.

The software from Deem is meant to provide travel agents a simpler, more modern experience than has been historically available for corporate travel. And the software includes a tool that travelers can use to manage their own trips. 

“It extends the vision that we set for Travelport back in 2019 or early 2020, which was we wanted to create a more modern retailing experience that was more akin to what leisure travelers might experience,” said John Elieson, chief operating officer and deputy CEO of Travelport.

“You go to a site like Travelocity or Expedia or Priceline, and you’ve just got this really intuitive, enjoyable experience. And yet in corporate travel, it’s just much clunkier.”

Travelport CEO Greg Webb said early this year that more than 80% of the company’s travel agent customers were using Travelport+ at that time, and the rest were expected to transition in the following 12 to 18 months.

Travel Technology

OAG Acquires Infare to Strengthen Air Travel Data Business

7 months ago

Infare, a Denmark-based provider of airfare data and analysis software, has been acquired. 

OAG, a UK-based provider of flight status and schedule information, said Friday that it has acquired Infare from private equity firm Ventiga Capital. The firm had owned Infare since 2017. 

The price and terms of the latest deal were not disclosed. 

OAG and Infare had been in a partnership that was announced in April 2022. 

OAG said the deal values the combined company at over $500 million. The combined company has 300 employees in 10 offices. 

OAG said that both management teams will continue with the company and retain a shareholding, with fresh backing from Vitruvian Partners. Vitruvian Partners bought OAG from Axio Group for $215 million in 2017. 

“The increasing dynamism in global travel and technology is fueling a need for more sophisticated, granular data to understand, manage, and unlock growth in air travel,” said Phil Callow, CEO of OAG, in a statement. “The acquisition of Infare strengthens our ability to deliver consistent and accurate information across the wider supply and demand value chain.”

Travel Technology

Travelsoft Acquires Travel Compositor to Expand Booking Software Services

12 months ago

Travelsoft, a company that offers software products focused on travel bookings, has added a third brand to its portfolio.

The Paris-based company said Monday that it acquired Spain-based Travel Compositor, a provider of travel booking engines, for an undisclosed price. 

Travel Compositor said its platforms handle €1 billion ($1.1 billion) worth of bookings annually and generate €11.5 million ($12.3 million) in revenue. The company is established in Southern Europe and is growing in Latin America and Asia.

Following the acquisition, Travelsoft said it will now transact bookings worth €5 billion ($5.3 billion) annually and generate revenue of over €35 million ($37.4 million). With 90 people joining Travelsoft via the acquisition, the company now has more than 200 employees globally. The company said it will also be able to invest over €5 million ($5.3 million) per year in research and development.

Travelsoft products are focused on helping the tourism industry sell travel packages by automating production and booking, handling data for marketing, and increasing conversion rates. The company works with 300 tour operators connected to 600 suppliers in more than 40 countries, mainly in Europe and the Americas.

Travelsoft also owns Germany-based Traffics, which it acquired in 2022, and France-based Orchestra. 

Traffics offers consulting, search, and booking systems for more than 6,000 travel agencies, as well as travel portals, airlines, hotels and travel suppliers. Orchestra said it allows travel professionals to produce, administrate, distribute, and manage travel packages on all distribution channel

Each of the three companies will maintain their names and brands.

“The need for booking platforms is growing and we see many opportunities for consolidation, so watch out for more acquisitions as we build the world’s leading travel SaaS,” said Christian Sabbagh, founder and CEO of Travelsoft, in a statement

Sabbagh remains the majority shareholder of Travelsoft, alongside the two founders of Travel Compositor and the two founders of Traffics. 

Shares in startups MOGU and Top Group Express, owned by Travel Compositor, will also join Travelsoft. 

The investors who participated in Travel Compositor’s only fundraising round in 2016 — including Caixa, Capital Risk, Inspirit (Didac Lee), Hotusa Ventures, and Venture Cap II — are fully exiting company ownership and multiplying their investment by 12 to 15 times, the company said. 

Travel Technology

Mondee Doubled Revenue and Net Loss in Its Year Going Public

12 months ago

Mondee has been going through a lot of changes over the last year, and the numbers shared during its latest earnings call reflect that.

Mondee more than doubled annual gross revenue in 2022 to $2.2 billion. The company also had a net loss of $87 million in 2022, compared with $39 million in 2021, because of various one-time expenses mostly related to the way the company went public in July 2022. 

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization was $16 million in 2022, an increase of more than $20 million.

Mondee provides travel agents access to a marketplace for booking on behalf of their customers. Travel agents access that marketplace, as well as ancillary software products to manage their business, through a Mondee software platform. 

As the company continues to focus on expanding its services and geographical footprint, it projects net revenue growth of 47 percent for 2023.

About 80 percent of Mondee’s bookings are for flights, the rest comprised of hotels and car rentals. The company plans to soon expand offerings to include cruises, theaters, theme parks, sporting events, and other ticketed events. 

Historically focused on North America, Mondee is working to expand in Latin America, India, and Europe, in that order. 

Mondee earlier this year acquired Orinter, a similar company based in Brazil, for $40 million as part of its expansion to Brazil and Latin America. 

“We plan to continue aggressively executing a targeted, accretive acquisition strategy, which will help accelerate our growth and expansion into new geographies as well as offerings of new products and services,” Prasad Gundumogula, chairman and CEO of Mondee, said during the call Tuesday morning. 

Gundumogula said he believes that demand by younger generations for more tech-forward options is a significant driver of the company’s growth, and that will help mitigate headwinds like inflation, high fuel costs, and economic uncertainty. 

The Mondee stock price was at $11.29 late Tuesday morning, up 10.9 percent year to date.

Travel Technology

Software Developer Makes AI Travel Itinerary Tool

1 year ago

During her Christmas holiday, a software developer created a tool to generate and map travel itineraries using generative artificial intelligence (AI). 

The Australia-based developer, Katrin Schmid, posted on Linkedin about the tool she made, called Journeai. It is powered by the generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, released last year by OpenAi, a San Francisco-based AI research lab that has gotten at least $2 billion in investment.  

This new subset of AI can generate a new, unique product based on specific rules it’s given, a big leap ahead of the limited way AI has historically used existing datasets to draw conclusions and make predictions. 

OpenAi’s ChatGPT can already create a personalized travel itinerary within seconds. The Journeai tool uses that capability and adds the interactive mapping component through Google Maps — showing how easy it can be to solve a notable issue with generative AI, which is the lack of details like time, date, and geolocation. 

Despite the bugs with generative AI that users continue to point out, this is an early example of how the technology is expected to shake up the travel industry, starting with travel marketing, travel agents, and tour operators. 

There is more to come. 

“By the end of the year, you won’t be able to tell the difference between human production and AI production,” said travel industry consultant Peter Syme in a recent interview with Skift

“Every single tourism business, from a hotel to a tour operator to the most prominent companies, has access to the same power from a content production point of view. Therefore, tour operators should adopt quickly and not lag to ensure the biggest advantage.”

Travel Technology

UK Hotel Software Operator Guestline Acquires Newbridge to Expand Into Restaurants

1 year ago

A UK-based hotel operations software platform is expanding offerings for restaurants through an acquisition. 

Guestline announced Tuesday that it has acquired UK-based Newbridge Software, a company that offers an electronic point of sale (ePOS) platform for bars and restaurants. Newbridge will operate as a division of the Guestline Group.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Guestline’s existing software platform covers a range of operations and payments for hotels across Europe and Asia, the company said. The company was founded in 1991. 

Founded in 2016, Newbridge has worked with standalone and group operators across the UK. The software includes real-time revenue and profit reporting, and it has features that enable table ordering, rewards programs and promotions.  

The Newbridge software will be fully integrated into the Guestline system, giving existing clients access to the ePOS software. The Newbridge software will also be offered as a standalone service, continuing to serve independent bars and restaurants

Andrew McGregor, CEO of Guestline, said in a statement that enhancing ePOS capabilities has been part of the company’s strategic focus.