BUSINESS TRAVEL

Eola, Powering Experience Providers, Generates $2.8 Million in Investment

Eola, Pentech Ventures | April 07, 2021

Eola, the operating system for experience providers, has raised $2.8 million in a fundraising round led by Pentech Ventures, with support from Techstars and other travel and technology business leaders.

Eola delivers cutting-edge operations technology to experience providers in the UK and around the world. Eola provides them with the tools they need to run their entire business, from hiking tours in Scotland to watersports centers in Cornwall to hot air ballooning in New Zealand. The Eola system saves companies time and money by automating booking and payment procedures, making scheduling and resource management simple, and offering features such as memberships and rentals.

During 2020, Eola's revenue increased five times when their client base tripled. During last year's changing conditions, the importance of automated processes, online accessibility, and real-time adaptability became much more evident. Using Eola's proprietary technology, their average partner more than doubled online bookings in 2020 over the previous year. Eola now anticipates much stronger success in 2021, as people are ready to get back outdoors. The new funding will be used to expand the company's technology, team, and commercial footprint.

Eola CEO Callum Hemsley: "  We are pleased to have this group of investors on board for the next step of our expansion. The performance we've had so far is a testament to our team's and customers' tremendous tenacity and resilience. 2020 was a challenging year but seeing how everyone handled it was so inspirational. I'm grateful to be on this path with them all. Now, we're looking forward to assisting more established businesses in growing alongside us.

Sandy McKinnon, Pentech Ventures partner: " The Eola team has created a fantastic operating system for running experience-based businesses. It is impressive that a business will expand during a lockdown in this market, and it speaks to the value they deliver to their clients. We are excited to help them and assist them in expanding even more."

Eamonn Carey, Managing Director of Techstars London: "Building products that people want is the most successful way to build a scalable, category-defining business. That is just what Callum, Dan, and the rest of the Eola team have done. I'm consistently impressed by the reviews and referrals they get from their clients, as well as the positive effect Eola has on their businesses. I know it's happening, and I can't wait to see those clients, as well as millions of others, benefiting from Eola's operating system."

Spotlight

Paired with changing workforce dynamics, contact centers are coping with issues such as economic uncertainty, customer vulnerability, an increase in global compliance regulations and ongoing pandemic-related disruptions —
from the supply chain to employee health concerns. A perfect storm of external factors have led to higher interaction volumes and more complex customer conversations.

Spotlight

Paired with changing workforce dynamics, contact centers are coping with issues such as economic uncertainty, customer vulnerability, an increase in global compliance regulations and ongoing pandemic-related disruptions —
from the supply chain to employee health concerns. A perfect storm of external factors have led to higher interaction volumes and more complex customer conversations.

Related News

HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Mid-Century Modern Style and Sensibility of Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts Arrive on Fifth Avenue, with Second Hotel in New York City

Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts | December 21, 2022

Nostalgic nods to the glamourous era of travel set in the iconic, cosmopolitan allure of New York City's most well-known avenue. Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts – part of Marriott Bonvoy's® portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands – introduces its newest outpost in New York City with the opening of Le Méridien New York, Fifth Avenue. Taking cues from the European-born brand's mid-century modern design aesthetic, the chic hotel is a 21-story architectural masterpiece featuring 165 beautifully styled guest rooms and 17 apartment-style residences for longer stays. "Le Méridien has always inspired travelers to explore the world in style and savor the good life through the lens of its European spirit, and what better city to continue this legacy than in Manhattan, with our second hotel in the destination,As we continue to celebrate the brand's momentous 50th anniversary this year, we're delighted to expand on our global footprint and bring a distinct stay experience and chic signature programs to creative-minded travelers visiting New York City." -Jennifer Connell, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts and Vice President, Distinctive Premium Brands, Marriott International. Designed by Gene Kaufman Architect, the hotel's light-colored masonry façade and grid of windows with dark railings blend traditional elements with a modern flair. The timeless chic interiors, designed by Paul Vega and Vennie Lau of New Jersey-based design studio VLDG, pay homage to the neighborhood that was dominated by the textile mercantile trade in the 20th century. Bold geometric patterns, contrasting colors, and textured fabrics are woven into the hotel's design scheme and infused with iconic New York City cultural elements and modern, mid-century design details. Signature design details include curated artwork throughout the lobby, including a luminous acrylic wall sculpture, a textile column that merges units of color and patchwork to create a patterned field, and a scale map printed on wood acoustic walls. Within the New York-inspired guest rooms, design takes shape with the brand's signature mid-century modernism along with custom murals that depict a map of Manhattan, with connecting waterways. Featuring a color palette with shades of grey and blue with pink accents for a cohesive aesthetic, the rooms – six of which have walk-out terraces – include the Le Méridien signature bed, MALIN+GOETZ bath products, 4K smart TVs, an elevated desk inspired by higher surfaces used by creative individuals, and more. Serving as a focal point of the hotel's public spaces, the Le Méridien Hub is a gathering place and modern reinterpretation of the traditional hotel lobby, serving custom-brewed, barista-crafted coffee beverages during the day and sparkling cocktails in the evening at the signature Latitude/Longitude Bar. The property's all-day ristorante, Allora, specializes in seasonally inspired, regional Italian aperitivi and fare including its signature Miller's Wife Pasta. Additional amenities and services include a complimentary 24-hour health club with Life Fitness equipment, in-room dining, and more. Located on Fifth Avenue between West 30th and West 31st, the new hotel is near some of the city's most notable sights including Empire State and Flatiron buildings, NoMad district, Herald Square, and not to forget, the famed Fifth Avenue shopping, and many more must-see, can't-miss attractions. Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts participates in Marriott Bonvoy, the award-winning travel program from Marriott International. Marriott Bonvoy Members will earn points for their stay at the new hotel, and at other properties across Marriott Bonvoy's portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and a contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind. To explore further and make a reservation, please visit www.Marriott.com/en-us/Hotels/NYCCMU-Le-Meridien-New-York-Fifth-Avenue. About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts Born in 1960's Paris during an era of glamorous travel, Le Méridien® Hotels & Resorts continues to celebrate cultures around the world through the distinctly European spirit of savoring the good life. With over 110 hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries and territories, spanning from Maldives to Monaco and from Santa Monica to Sichuan, Le Méridien's engaging mid-century designed spaces coupled with chic signature programs put a playful twist on art, coffee, sparkling cocktails, summer, family, and inspire creative-minded travelers to explore the world in style. For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com, and stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Le Méridien is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments, and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit www.MarriottBonvoy.com. About Marriott Bonvoy Marriott Bonvoy's® extraordinary portfolio offers renowned hospitality in the most memorable destinations in the world, with 30 brands that are tailored to every type of journey. Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, and through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments™, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques®. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit www.MarriottBonvoy.com

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

SUNRATE Partners With Visa for Virtual Corporate Cards to Boost Travel Solution

SUNRATE | January 10, 2023

SUNRATE, recognized as a leading financial solutions provider, collaborated with Visa, a world leader in digital payments. The partnership is to enhance the travel solutions offered by SUNRATE. In the past, SUNRATE's stakeholders had only one way to pay for travel-related expenses with their travel partners. Now with the partnership, they will have a virtual corporate card that makes this process much easier and more streamlined. SUNRATE, at the end of last year, shared news of a strategic alliance with Agoda, the world's largest online travel agency. In 2021, the company was accepted into the Visa network as a primary participant. SUNRATE’S corporate cards will help its travel partners to have control over spending track and allocations. In addition, a corporate card will ensure the security of the transactions and the data for the users. Technologies like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have made it difficult for shared card information to be misused by imposing a time limit on each transaction. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Level 1 is an international standard for financial data security. SUNRATE has been certified to meet this standard. "The launch of Visa virtual corporate cards is a monumental step for SUNRATE as we cement our leadership as a one-stop B2B payment partner, especially for the travel industry. Since our partnership announcement with Agoda, we have worked with many other travel stakeholders, including other OTAs and we take pride in being able to solve their overall business needs. The Visa virtual corporate card will be a key solution for our customers and beyond," -Shawn Qin, Head of Card Business, SUNRATE. (Source: Cision) About SUNRATE SUNRATE is an advanced global payment and treasury management platform for international businesses. Having global headquarters in Singapore and offices in China, Indonesia, Japan, and the United Kingdom, SUNRATE collaborates with Citibank, Standard Chartered, and Barclays and is the leading member of MasterCard and Visa. The company has facilitated local and global growth for over 130 firms since its establishment in 2016.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Alaska Airlines launches first U.S. electronic bag tag program

Alaska Airlines | December 01, 2022

Alaska Airlines became the first U.S. airline to launch an electronic bag tag program, which enables guests to tag their luggage through the airline's mobile app before they even reach the airport. This week, 2,500 Alaska Mileage Plan members will begin receiving their electronic bag tag. Those elite status members included in the first wave of the program are guests who have traveled in the last 12 months, checked-in at least one bag and were among the first to register to use the device."The last thing our guests want to do is stand in line," said Charu Jain, senior vice-president of merchandising and innovation for Alaska. "With the addition of the Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag, our guests can complete almost all of their check-in tasks – from the comfort of their home, at work or on the way to catching their flight." The three-by-five-inch devices are updated with a guest's flight information through the Alaska Airlines mobile app during check-in; essentially allowing travelers to head straight to the bag drop area once they arrive at the airport. The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag is estimated to reduce the time guests spend in airport lobbies by about 40%, including reducing lines and the use of paper bag tags. In addition to the device's impressive lifespan and durability (Alaska Airlines employees tested it by running it over with a truck), the devices don't require charging or batteries. "We've tested our electronic bag tags on countless flights across the country, including international routes where Alaska Airlines flies, and the devices have performed exactly as they're meant to," said Jain. "We'll collect feedback from our first wave of users before the devices become available to purchase to all our guests early next year." The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag will be available for purchase to all guests starting in 2023 and will operate on all Alaska Airlines marketed flights operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. Along with the hardware, the software for the device is provided by BAGTAG, a Dutch company that is a pioneer in the field of baggage technology solutions. "Alaska Airlines is an excellent example of a carrier on a mission to improve all aspects of their passenger's experience, This vision is leading their choices for innovation such as electronic bag tags and we are very proud to assist them in this project." -Jaspar Quak, BAGTAG managing director Click here to check out how the Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag works and join the notification list when the devices become available for purchase. About BAGTAG BAGTAG was founded in 2014 in the Netherlands, with the purpose of introducing the world's first flexible and secure electronic bag tag solution. Having developed in close cooperation with the world's leading airlines, the company launched its hardware solution in 2018 and is now leading the market for electronic bag tags. About Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines and our regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. We emphasize low fares and award-winning customer service. Alaska is a member of the oneworld global alliance. With the alliance and our additional airline partners, our guests can travel to more than 900 destinations on more than 20 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world. Learn more about Alaska at news.alaskaair.com and follow @alaskaairnews for latest news. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.

Read More