Tripbam In, TripRebel Out For European Hotel Shopping Tech

Both Tripbam and TripRebel have targeted the corporate market with software that re-shops booked hotels for better deals. The former is expanding into Europe with a London office and expanded language, content and currency capabilities. The latter recently went insolvent.

Germany-based TripRebel started in the consumer space with an application that re-shopped reserved hotels for better rates. It was positioning for a pivot to the corporate space before the wheels came off.

"Unfortunately, it was not possible to establish this simple idea in the current market," CEO and co-founder Carlos Borges commented last month. "The customer base grew too slow, marketing channels were cluttered by massive competition and extremely high marketing costs. TripRebel has to file for insolvency now."

Tripbam is having a better go at it. Helmed by industry vet Steve Reynolds, it turns four this year. It claims 1,300 companies use its technology, which "offered more than $18 million in savings to clients in 2016."

Now, Tripbam is enabling its technology in Europe "for all clients," having already tested the market there.

"It's just time to get serious about Europe," Reynolds said. "We've been putting our toe in the water over the last several years. We got several big companies pulling us over there, and we've got the agencies starting to promote the product across Europe."

Based on early tests, Europe shows greater hotel rate volatility, lower penetration of corporate negotiated rates and higher average rates than the U.S.__all factors that support its value proposition.

Tripbam has taken efforts to get market ready for Europe.

"The big issue is content," he said. "The GDSs tend not to have all the hotels or all the best rates. The agencies over there tend to shop around at multiple different places for their clients. That's why companies like HRS and Captiva are pretty successful, just because they're not as tied to the GDS as much as the TMCs. We had to solve that problem first."

As such, he said, Tripbam looks in multiple places, including the global distribution systems and DHISCO. It can bring in other sources of hotel content as per client requests, said Reynolds.

"We had to make sure we had all the European hotels that we needed to create clusters, and we needed all the quality scores and travel sentiment," he said.

For the latter, Tripbam hooked in quality-score data from TrustYou, which analyzes hotel guest reviews and social media to gauge traveler sentiment.

Tripbam also translated agent notifications into applicable languages and converted rates and reporting into new currencies.

Tripbam has reseller partnership and tech integration relationships with the four mega travel management companies, said Reynolds. It will chase more midmarket TMC partnerships as it expands in Europe.

Already, U.K.-based Business Travel Direct has discussed its relationship with Tripbam.

Tripbam is establishing a London base in Europe with an unnamed managing director, who is transitioning from another company, Reynolds said.