Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Virgin Voyages | September 08, 2023
Virgin Voyages announced a $550 million funding round led by Ares Management for global expansion.
Founder Tom McAlpin transitions to Chairman of the Board, while Nirmal Saverimuttu takes over as CEO, bringing extensive experience from Virgin Voyages' early days.
Virgin Voyages looks forward to continued success and collaboration with investors, including Ares Management, to drive future growth and innovation.
Virgin Voyages, the award-winning cruise brand backed by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, has announced the completion of a $550 million fundraise led by Ares Management's Private Equity Group. This funding, including contributions from existing investors such as Virgin Group and Bain Capital, is poised to propel Virgin Voyages into international markets while enhancing the overall customer experience.
Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager of Special Opportunities in the Ares Private Equity Group, Aaron Rosen, remarked,
With this new investment alongside our partners at Virgin Group and Bain Capital, we believe the company is on strong footing to capitalize on its differentiated product and value proposition in the growing cruise industry.
[Source - Cision PR Newswire]
Established as a leading player in the industry, Virgin Voyages has swiftly gained recognition and accolades with a fleet serving various destinations and recent wins like topping the mega-ship category in Travel + Leisure's 2023 World's Best Awards and sweeping all five cruise categories in the 2023 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards.
Alongside this development, Tom McAlpin, the founding CEO, is transitioning to the role of Chairman of the Board. Nirmal Saverimuttu is taking the reins as the new Chief Executive Officer, having formerly served as President and Chief Experience Officer. In addition, Nirmal Saverimuttu has been a foundational figure at Virgin Voyages since 2014, when he joined as Chief Commercial Officer after securing initial investments from the Virgin Group. His role expanded in 2021 to President and Chief Experience Officer, making him well-prepared to guide the brand into its next phase of growth and innovation.
Nirmal Saverimuttu, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said,
I want to send our deepest thanks, on behalf of all our Crew and the Board, to Tom for his leadership and passion for the business. We are so grateful for all he has done and are thrilled to continue to partner with him as our Chairman.
[Source – Cision PR Newswire]
Virgin Voyages is a trusted brand due to its crew's dedication and passion for offering remarkable experiences for its guests. Nirmal also expressed his anticipation of collaborating with the Ares team and Virgin Voyages' current investors to execute growth and expansion plans as the company contemplates its promising future.
prnewswire | July 21, 2023
Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), invites travelers to discover Azerbaijan in all seasons.
The two companies will join forces for a new campaign aiming to showcase Azerbaijan's incredible attractions to MENA travelers. Building on the successful previous partnership, this collaboration will leverage Wego's extensive reach and innovative marketing strategies to showcase Azerbaijan's rich cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and warm hospitality.
In Azerbaijan, both summer and winter offer a wide range of exciting activities for each type of traveler.
Mamoun Hmedan, Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director, MENA and India, Wego, said: "As we renew our partnership with Azerbaijan Tourism Board, we aim to inspire and guide travelers to explore the wonders of Azerbaijan and create a seamless and inspiring travel experience. We recorded over 830,000 searches globally to Azerbaijan this year and we are expecting to see an increase in the searches towards the summer."
During the summer months, the country's beautiful coastal areas become a haven for beach lovers. Travelers can indulge in water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing. Additionally, the picturesque mountainous regions of Azerbaijan, such as the Greater Caucasus range, provide fantastic opportunities for hiking, trekking, and exploring scenic trails that lead to breathtaking vistas and hidden waterfalls.
Florian Sengstschmid, CEO, Azerbaijan Tourism Board, said: "In winter, Azerbaijan transforms into a winter wonderland, providing excellent opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts. The country has premier ski resorts and offer world-class skiing and snowboarding facilities with a range of slopes suitable for beginners to advanced skiers. Additionally, the picturesque village of Gabala, located in the Tufandag Mountains, offers a charming winter retreat with opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and even enjoying horse-drawn sleigh rides through snowy landscapes."
Wegoprovides award-winning travel search websites and top-ranked mobile apps for travelers living in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions. Wego harnesses powerful yet simple to use technology that automates the process of searching and comparing results from hundreds of airlines, hotels, and online travel agency websites.
Wego presents an unbiased comparison of all travel products and prices offered in the marketplace by merchants, both local and global, and enables shoppers to quickly find the best deal and place to book whether it is from an airline or hotel directly or with a third-party aggregator website.
globenewswire | August 17, 2023
Mondee Holdings, Inc. the high-growth, travel technology company and marketplace, with a portfolio of globally recognized platforms in the leisure and corporate travel sectors, today announced the acquisition of Skypass Travel, Inc. (“Skypass”), a global full-service retail and wholesale provider of corporate, leisure, and humanitarian travel, based in the Dallas, Texas area.
The acquisition of Skypass supports Mondee's ongoing expansion and diversification endeavors, encompassing markets that serve both personnel and affiliates from international corporations, small and midsize businesses (SMBs), as well as humanitarian organizations. Skypass maintains domestic offices in the Dallas, Texas area and Austin, Texas. Furthermore, it boasts a global footprint through its international offices located in Latin America (LATAM), Mexico, Canada, and India.
Skypass achieved a gross revenue of $45 million and adjusted EBITDA of $4 million, representing a margin on net revenue of approximately 60%, in 2022. At closing, Mondee paid a consideration of approximately $15 million, comprised of cash and Mondee common stock priced at $10 per share. Additionally, the agreement allows for a potential future earn-out opportunity of shares of Mondee common stock, contingent upon the achievement of specified annual adjusted EBITDA growth targets.
With a 35-year operating history, Skypass enjoys a leading position in the international corporate travel sector. Its focus is directed toward providing travel services to sizable international consulting firms and SMBs. In addition to air travel and lodging, Skypass extends its services to encompass cruises, vacation packages, and humanitarian travel, catering to the personnel, associates, and the wider retail travel demographic.
Following the successful acquisitions of Consolid, Orinter and Interep, Mondee is poised to strategically advance the distribution of Skypass's travel-related offerings. Skypass’s expansion may be facilitated through Mondee’s extensive network, which comprises over 65,000 travel experts and a membership of 125 million individuals within closed groups. Furthermore, the acquisition increases Mondee’s reach of local, regional and global content.
Mondee's strategic approach involves harnessing its exclusive AI-Powered Travel Marketplace and cutting-edge technology. Simultaneously, the Company intends to introduce enhancements in services that may target Skypass’s clientele and generate additional revenue, including FinTech solutions and supplementary services. Moreover, Mondee is committed to streamlining expenditures across its global operational framework, with the aim of realizing substantial synergies in both top-line and bottom-line performance.
Mondee’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Prasad Gundumogula, stated, “We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to Victor Abraham, CEO of Skypass, and his experienced management team as valued members of the Mondee family and look forward to helping provide their customers with access to our AI-Powered Travel Marketplace, as well as additional products and services. We have every confidence they will continue to grow the business actively within their served markets. This acquisition underscores our commitment to diversifying our distribution to SMBs and international corporate accounts along with geographical expansion into India, Mexico, and LATAM.”
Skypass’s CEO Victor Abraham, shared, “The entire Skypass team is excited to join the Mondee family and work towards unlocking the global growth potential of our combined offerings and capabilities. We look forward to leveraging Mondee's cutting-edge AI-Powered Marketplace and industry-leading expertise to enhance our customers' travel experiences. With our shared commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, we are confident that together we can redefine the travel industry.”
Founded in 2011,Mondeeis a travel technology company and a modern travel marketplace based in Austin, Texas. The Company operates 17 offices across the United States and Canada and has core operations in India, Thailand, and Greece. Mondee is driving change in the leisure and corporate travel sectors through its broad array of innovative solutions. Available both as an app and through the web, the Company’s platform processes over 50 million daily searches and generates a substantial transactional volume annually. The Mondee Marketplace includes access to Abhi, the most powerful and only fully-integrated AI travel planning assistant in the market. Mondee’s network includes approximately 65,000 leisure travel advisors, freelancers and influencers, 500+ airlines, and over one million hotels and vacation rentals, 30K rental car pickup locations, 50+ cruise lines. The Company also offers packaged solutions and ancillary offerings that serve a global customer base.