The U.S.-based airline settlement clearinghouse ARC took an undisclosed investment in blockchain developer Blockskye, the companies announced Thursday. Already, the two have been working with United Airlines and one of the carrier's corporate clients on blockchain-based reporting and settlement capabilities, which are moving into production.
After wondering the travel startup wilderness for a couple years, Pana in 2017 landed on guest travel as a use case for its trip planning, booking and journey support system that blends technology with offline agents. This week, the startup announced it landed $10 million in funding to go deeper in addressing the headaches guest travelers and the companies paying for their trips face.
Corporate booking and travel management startups are ten a penny right now. But SalesTrip has a distinct point of differentiation. Launching in February 2019, the startup claims to be the first native booking and expense offering built within Salesforce, the huge customer relationship management platform with 150,000 customers of its own.
At The Beat Live this month, EAB VP of business solutions Steven Mandelbaum sat down with his fellow corporate travel buyers for the annual Buyers' Table session. Anthem's Cindy Heston, FINRA's Carol McDowell, Evercore's Jason Ring and KBB Partners' Mira Rosenzweig joined for a lively discussion on travel management company relationships, exploring new booking technologies and testing the waters with startups.
A few years ago, startups going explicitly after the corporate travel market were few and far between. Now, the number of new entrants and tech providers entering is growing, and so is the sum of venture capital behind them.
Flight Centre Travel Group last week announced a 25 percent stake in Jay Walker's Upside at an undisclosed price and added the company to its growing portfolio of business travel technology investments.
If it wasn't already clear that Sam was a fundamental piece of Flight Centre's corporate traveler-facing technology offering, take note that the Australian travel agency conglomerate last month paid 4.2 million Australian dollars ($3 million U.S.) to take full ownership of the developer behind Sam, its mobile in-trip management system.
Even if plenty of managed travel professionals reject the concept, players that incentivize corporate travelers to beat trip budgets have gained investors, partners and some user acceptance. The latest to market is Tripkicks, which was founded this year with backing from Acquis Consulting to set trip budgets and offer monetary rewards to managed travelers who come in under budget.
Last month's disclosure that Corporate Travel Management is in talks to buy Capita Travel and Events demonstrated yet again that the U.K. travel management company sector is hurtling through a period of intensive consolidation and ownership change.
Metaplanner sees the calendar as the logical place for corporate travelers to shop and book travel, as well as manage their itineraries during the trip.