Certares | October 26, 2021
Certares Management LLC a leading investment specialist dedicated to the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors (together with its affiliates, "Certares"), in partnership with Highlands Investments LLC ("Highlands") and Monomoy Property Ventures LLC ("MPV"), today announced the acquisition of the 181 key, new-build Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown located at 290 17th Street NW in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. The deal also included the acquisition of an adjacent land parcel and an income-producing parking component.Located in the Atlantic Station area of Midtown, the all-suites property features a lobby bar, restaurant, large fitness area and pool, along with 2,600 square feet of meeting space. The rooms average approximately 500 square feet, and each has a private kitchenette and separate living room area. The hotel sits adjacent to Microsoft's new eastern U.S. headquarters and near Georgia Tech's main Atlanta campus. HEI Hotels & Resorts ("HEI"), a leading hospitality management company that owns and/or operates 84 hotels and resorts throughout the United States, has been selected to operate the property.
"We are thrilled to acquire this brand-new asset in the heart of Atlantic Station. Midtown Atlanta is the city's preeminent submarket for technology and healthcare talent recruitment and is seeing an array of corporate relocations and expansions. We look forward to working closely with Highlands, MPV and HEI to ensure the property delivers a great experience to its guests."
-Nolan Hecht, Senior Managing Director & Head of Real Estate at Certares
Jordan Kary, Founder and Principal of Highlands, added, "We are big believers in both Atlanta and, more specifically, the Midtown Atlanta submarket, and we are excited to acquire this high-quality hotel together with Certares, MPV and HEI. The property's location together with its all-suites rooms and amenity offerings makes the asset well-positioned for outsized growth. We look forward to continuing to identify opportunities to acquire great pieces of real estate at attractive values and working to ensure best-in-class operations and oversight."
"High-quality real estate structured off-market from a motivated seller, in an excellent location within a growth MSA, the Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown is illustrative of the types of investments MPV is successfully targeting as we establish our business,We look forward to building on a close relationship with Certares, Highlands, HEI and Hilton as we execute on our business plan at this asset, and to participating in the substantial ongoing growth in the midtown Atlanta business community."
-Kevin Vaughan, Founder of MPV.
About Certares Management LLC
Established in 2012, Certares focuses on direct investments in proprietary transactions, leveraging deep sector experience in the travel and hospitality industries, and with a consistent emphasis on partnership with management teams to drive growth. Certares brings together a team with decades of both operational and investment experience in private equity, travel, tourism, hospitality and travel-related business and consumer services. For more information, please visit www.certares.com.
About Highlands Investments LLC
Founded in 2020, Highlands Investments LLC is a New York-based real estate investment and asset management company that employs a value approach to investing and targets select product types and geographic regions across the United States and Canada. Prompted by the shifting dynamics in the global real estate industry, the company's primary objectives include sourcing and negotiating target driven acquisition opportunities and managing investments throughout their lifecycle. Highlands focuses on identifying opportunistic acquisitions at attractive values with the potential to enhance returns at the asset level through operational improvements and through long-term economic recovery. To learn more, visit https://www.highlandsinv.com/.
About Monomoy Property Ventures LLC
Monomoy Property Ventures (MPV) is a New York-based real estate investment, development and management firm with an extensive track record sourcing, acquiring and redeveloping lodging assets. MPV purchases land parcels and existing buildings in enduring, high-barrier locations in select resort and urban markets in the United States. Through physical and operational repositioning or ground-up construction, MPV seeks to improve buildings, destinations, neighborhoods and the built environment while providing attractive financial returns to our company and investment partners. Through current and prior ventures, Principals of MPV have executed on over $1.4 billion of lodging investments across 23 hotels. For further information, please visit www.MonomoyPropertyVentures.com.
About HEI Hotels & Resorts
HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading hospitality investment and management company that owns and/or operates over 80 luxury, upper-upscale and upscale independent and branded hotels and resorts throughout the United States. HEI's branding partners include Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Accor. Taking a holistic approach to creating value for its investors and employees, HEI sets the highest standards across all aspects of hotel management and operation and focuses on central principles of excellence and continuous improvement. HEI prides itself on some of the highest employee satisfaction scores in the hospitality industry, fuels local economic prosperity by investing in communities and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. To learn more about HEI, please visit www.heihotels.com
TripActions | October 14, 2021
In less than a year, TripActions has secured a second massive funding round – this time $275 million in Series F growth funding.
The round was led by Greenoaks Capital with participation from prior investors Elad Gil, Base Partners and all key existing financial investors and values TripActions at $7.25 billion on a post-money basis.
The funding comes less than nine months after TripActions' Series E round of $155 million in January. The travel management company's total funding to date is nearly $1.3 billion.
Is an IPO coming soon for the six-year-old company? Michael Sindicich, general manager of TripActions Liquid, the company’s payment and expense management solution, says while an IPO would be a “natural fundraising opportunity and another milestone in our growth,” it is not planned for the near future.
“We’ve got quite a lot of cash. We’re making great revenue. We are not in any rush to take the company public at this time,” Sindicich says. The vote of confidence from investors, he says, confirms TripActions’ belief that travel and expense management is “ripe for a tech makeover.”
Despite the global impact of COVID-19 on travel, TripActions says it has now exceeded pre-pandemic levels in terms of bookings and revenue and has more than doubled its aggregate travel budget under management from February 2020 through the end of July this year.
The gains are due in part to a focus on acquiring new enterprise customers, targeted with the launch of TripActions Enterprise Edition in September 2020. Clients include Heineken, Crate & Barrel, Snowflake, Thomson Reuters and Adobe.
“We were there for these customers, they were switching from legacy travel agencies and booking tools, legacy expense platforms, because we were innovating, we were supporting, we were adapting to the way the new world would operate moving forward and that gave them a lot of confidence to actually make a change.”
Michael Sindicich, general manager of TripActions
Also adding fuel to TripActions' growth in the last 18 months: the launch of Liquid in February 2020, first as a payment solution and then in October 2020 adding expense management tools.
Sindicich says transaction volume is similar for Liquid as for core travel, and more than 90% of the new companies TripActions is bringing onboard use its full suite of solutions for corporate travel, expense, spend and payment management.
“Seventy-percent of expenses happen while employees are on trips,” he says.
“So we’re learning about the power of the end-to-end solution. We built Liquid as a separate team in the beginning... and are now seeing that both platforms together, it’s a one-plus-one-equals-three type of situation.”
Along with continuing to develop these products, TripActions will accelerate development of Lemonade, its personal travel booking solution that launched in October 2020. Lemonade gives employees at TripActions’ client companies’ access to negotiated rates and exclusive deals, notifications about COVID requirements and around-the-clock support for their leisure trips.
The company is also continuing to develop TripActions Team Travel, a self-serve solution that launched in June to facilitate gatherings of distributed employees. Earlier this month it added support for meetings and events to Team Travel, leveraging the capabilities it gained with its acquisition of Reed & Mackay in May.
TripActions will also add staff globally, expand its efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – Europe now represents 30% of TripActions’ business - and, says Sindicich, continue to look for merger and acquisition opportunities.
“We’re always looking for companies that would make sense to acquire and work with and add to the portfolio so this could be another deployment of this capital as well,” he says.
“There’s not a prospect we are announcing or have in mind right now, but it would be natural for us to also look at other opportunities as well since we see Reed & Mackay is working so well for us.”
Bookaway | July 17, 2021
Start-up in travel technology Bookaway has secured USD46 million in venture capital from Aleph, Corner Ventures, and Entrée Capital to establish the Bookaway Group, which will bring together ground and sea transportation companies from across the world.
The group has collaborated to digitalize the USD 157 billion sector, where 95% of activities remain offline (local buses, trains, ferries.) As a result, local suppliers can connect and reach even more travelers by offering an online platform for up-to-date information, reviews, and booking while increasing access to every part of the globe (over 100,000 routes and counting).
Getbybus, known for providing tens of thousands of routes in and around the Balkans and Western Europe, is the first to join the Bookaway Group, followed by 12Go, which has the biggest network of local transport choices in and around South East Asia. The Bookaway Group, in collaboration with Bookaway, provides access to more than 100,000 transit routes, user evaluations, and round-the-clock assistance in 14,600 locations across 80 countries.
The Bookaway Group aims to bridge the global gap between travelers and local transportation providers, allowing travelers to discover and book transportation options anywhere in the world, regardless of the language they speak or how remote the location is.
Bookaway has grown from a tiny Tel Aviv start-up to one of the world's top ground transportation companies in less than four years, with plans to expand further in the United States, China, and Latin America.
Since 2018, Bookaway has secured USD 35 million in Series B funding to establish the Bookaway Group, following USD 11 million in Seed and Series A funding. Aleph, a major Israeli investor, has been a loyal supporter since 2019.