Hotel Engine Raises $16 Million for Business Travel Booking: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Skift | September 06, 2019

Hotel Engine Raises $16 Million for Business Travel Booking: Travel Startup Funding This Week
Hotel Engine, which offers online lodging management for businesses, has raised $16 million in Series A funding.Telescope Partners led the round, which placed a more than $150 million valuation on the startup.The Denver-based travel tech company, founded four years ago, is similar to well-funded startups like TripActions and TravelPerk. It offers hotel reservation and management solutions for the booking of more than 200,000 hotels. It has processed more than a million bookings, and it aims to provide transparency, billing, and support for more than 25,000 businesses small-and-medium-sized companies.

Spotlight

Ecuador is an amazing place to visit with your children, from the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Quito and Cuenca to the markets to the varied biodiversity throughout the country there is so much for families and children to enjoy. This video covers some tips and advice for visiting Ecuador with your kids, whether it is visiting the Galapagos Islands, the Highlands or somewhere in between there is a lot of families and kids to do.

Related News

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Traxo and International SOS Partner to Track all Corporate Travel Bookings in Real-Time

Traxo & International SOS | October 22, 2021

Dallas-based Traxo, Inc., the global leader in real-time corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing, and International SOS, the world’s largest provider of health and security services, announced a new commercial agreement, which can provide International SOS clients with immediate access to all travel itinerary data before travel begins, including ‘off-channel bookings’ occurring outside the client’s mandated corporate travel policy, in real time, enabling enhanced duty of care for business travelers.“Our new partnership with International SOS is coincidentally and perfectly timed with the newly issued global travel risk management benchmark, ISO 31030. ”This new ISO standard provides critical guidance on how organizations should effectively address the responsibility of ensuring the security, safety, health and well-being of individuals traveling for work as the world continues to navigate through the travel ramifications of COVID-19.” -Traxo Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andres Fabris. As a result of the integration with Traxo’s API (application programming interface), when an International SOS corporate client signs with Traxo, both International SOS and its client gain immediate visibility into all travel itinerary data from every booking made outside the client's mandated corporate travel policy. These previously ‘invisible bookings," which can represent as much as 50 percent of a company's business travel, are automatically detected, audited, and processed by Traxo and securely transmitted directly to the International SOS duty-of-care system for immediate risk management coverage seconds after the employee books their travel, regardless of channel. "As organizations begin to re-open their business travel, travel risk management programs must be revitalized and rooted in effective tools that will protect ALL traveling employees and ensure the business is meeting its requirements for duty of care,The need for travel managers to effectively manage ‘booking leakage’ is more critical now than ever before, making it essential for us to ensure all out-of-policy and supplier-direct bookings can be integrated into our monitoring solutions. -said Andrew Miller, Director of Partnerships at International SOS Partnering with Traxo helps us improve our traveler location awareness capabilities by ensuring that we don’t miss a single itinerary, no matter how it was booked, and the real-time nature of this data can help us prevent or mitigate emergency situations much more effectively. The Traxo pre-trip, booking-data detection solution works in the background by capturing all off-channel bookings immediately after purchase, whether that be a reservation for a hotel, airline, car rental, rail, or ground transportation; or a cancelation or trip modification. That itinerary data is stored in Traxo’s highly secure infrastructure and made available to the corporate travel manager in Traxo’s dashboard application to view and report on. All booking data is automatically passed to International SOS for comprehensive risk management monitoring of all upcoming travel. There is no extra effort required on behalf of the employees or travel managers. We're incredibly pleased to team with the world's largest corporate travel duty-of-care service to provide the ability for all of their clients to improve visibility into all employees’ business travel plans," Fabris noted. "The reality today is that corporate travel leakage is inevitable, and unless it’s detected pre-trip, it can be extremely challenging to effectively monitor the safety of traveling employees. Full visibility is not simply a luxury as it once was; it's an essential imperative in today's business travel landscape to reduce corporate liabilities and ensure the health and safety of all traveling employees. International SOS clients who work with multiple travel management companies (TMCs) can opt to have all their TMC booking data consolidated with their off-channel booking data and fed directly into the International SOS Tracker system. Traxo easily consolidates all of the bookings from the various TMCs with the non-TMC bookings, and sends it all in one data feed to International SOS for real-time duty-of-care monitoring. International SOS and Traxo will host a joint webinar on October 26th to discuss the new Travel Risk Management Standard Benchmark ISO 31030:2021, and how together, they can help organizations meet their duty-of-care requirements. About Traxo: Dallas-based Traxo, Inc., the global leader in corporate travel data capture and pre-trip auditing, eliminates blind spots and enhances duty of care by enabling corporate travel managers and managed travel agencies to easily track and proactively manage complete omnichannel travel activity in a single, real-time, system of record. Founded in 2008, Traxo clients and partners include Amex GBT, United Airlines, Lufthansa, Easy Jet, Tripadvisor, Chrome River / Emburse, Coupa, International SOS, WorldAware, and many more. Two recent Business Travel News Travel Managers of the Year use Traxo, and The Business Travel Magazine recently named the Company to its 2021Tech HotList, a list of the “top tech innovators shaking up the industry.” With Traxo, corporations reduce risk, improve traveler safety and maximize savings. Learn more at www.traxo.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. About the International SOS Group of Companies: The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help protect your people, your organisation's reputation, as well as support your compliance reporting needs. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability. Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group, headquartered in London & Singapore, is trusted by 12,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune 500, as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 12,000 multicultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 90 countries, 24/7, 365 days.

Read More

FEATURES AND ADVICE

“Alexa – Ask HotelPlanner to Make a New Reservation:” Travel Technology Company Launches Alexa-Enabled Booking Feature

HotelPlanner | October 20, 2021

HotelPlanner, a leading travel technology platform powered by proprietary artificial intelligence, announced the launch of its new Alexa-enabled hotel booking feature that immediately connects customers to a global gig-based ‘Hotel Planner’ agent to book a discounted hotel stay – anywhere in the world – at any time, an industry first.The announcement is well-timed with the rise in voice-activated technology and the ‘Internet of Things’ revolution that is already disrupting every industry across the globe. How Alexa-Enabled Hotel Bookings Work Using an Alexa device or the Alexa app, a customer must first say “Alexa – enable the HotelPlanner skill.” Once the skill is enabled, customers can then activate the feature any time by saying “Alexa – open HotelPlanner” or “Alexa – ask HotelPlanner to make a new reservation in Boston.” Once a customer tells Alexa their travel details, the service immediately connects the customer to a live Hotel Planner as a priority call, which bypasses the call queue. The Hotel Planner can then typically offer a discounted rate before completing the booking. This is equivalent to having a personal hotel concierge at one’s beck and call anytime help is needed with hotel bookings. HotelPlanner’s proprietary artificial intelligence and VOIP capabilities will also try to route customers to a gig-based Hotel Planner who either lives in, or knows about, the customer’s desired destination so that they can provide localized and personalized service.And this new booking feature is completely free of charge. Staying Ahead of the Technology Curve Since its founding in 2004, HotelPlanner has sought to stay ahead of the technology curve with next generation features that anticipate evolving customer needs to further simplify and automate the hotel booking process. For example, HotelPlanner pioneered the electronic Request for Proposal (eRFP) process for group bookings in 2004, and then added an online negotiation capability in 2009. In 2014, the company launched its instant group booking feature. In May 2020, at the height of the pandemic, HotelPlanner launched its global gig-economy based reservations platform in response to an influx of customer calls, an industry first for an online travel agency. “We believe that adding Alexa-enabled hotel bookings is an industry game changer,As the Internet of Things and smart homes, smart cars and smart offices become more ubiquitous, HotelPlanner is ready to provide a tech-forward solution that embraces voice activation and anticipates how consumers will interact with technology to make travel plans. And this capability is sustainable, scalable, and complementary with the ongoing expansion of our gig-based Hotel Planner reservation platform.” -John Prince, Co-Founder & Chief Information Officer, HotelPlanner. The transaction is expected to enable HotelPlanner to transform into a diversified hotel and event booking platform with complementary revenue streams, and to provide the combined company opportunities to realize multiple operating synergies to drive growth at scale. About HotelPlanner HotelPlanner is a leading travel technology company that combines proprietary artificial intelligence capabilities with a 24/7 global gig-based reservations and customer service network. HotelPlanner travel agents can customize all traveler hotel & accommodation needs from a single platform while providing localized advice. HotelPlanner is one of the leading providers of individual, group and corporate travel bookings, specializing in unique “Closed User Group” discounted rates offered in unpublished private sale environments. Founded in 2004, HotelPlanner has enduring partnerships with many of the world’s largest OTAs, well-known hotel chains, individual hotels, online wedding providers, ancillary lodging providers, corporations, professional and amateur sports teams and franchises, universities and government agencies.For more information, please visit https://www.hotelplanner.com About Reservations.com Reservations.com is an award-winning online travel company on a mission to bring the human-touch back to travel. Founded in 2014 with a focus on helping consumers create memorable travel experiences, Reservations.com has experienced rapid growth. Reservations.com's user-friendly website offers unparalleled visibility into hotels, including: descriptions, pricing information, and reviews of nearly 500,000 properties globally. The company is on a journey to enable customers to not only reserve hotels, but to create memories.more information, please visit www.reservations.com About Astrea Acquisition Corp. Astrea Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: ASAXU) is a blank check company organized for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. While we intend to evaluate opportunities in many industries, we are targeting technology-enhanced high-growth companies that have clear differentiated business models suited for disruption in their sectors. The diverse experience, extensive relationship network, and successful SPAC experience of our management team and board of directors make Astrea an ideal partner for businesses that have the potential to become outstanding public companies.

Read More

FEATURES AND ADVICE

Air Canada sees Increased Bookings as COVID-19 travel Restrictions are Lifted

Air Canada | July 26, 2021

After reporting a bigger quarterly loss on Friday, Air Canada projected higher bookings for domestic and US-bound flights this winter as travel restrictions ease. Although bookings remain below pre-pandemic levels, Canada's biggest airline predicts slower cash burn as travel resumes. "We are witnessing steadily increasing bookings for the coming winter in the domestic, trans-border, and Atlantic markets, as well as to sun destinations," CEO Michael Rousseau told analysts. "Future bookings for next winter sun travel during certain weeks in June were ahead of the same time in 2019." After a 16-month ban due to the pandemic, Canada will allow fully vaccinated US visitors to enter the country beginning August 9. Air Canada recorded a net cash burn of about C$8 million ($6.36 million) per day for the second quarter, lower than previously projected. However, it anticipates that figure will rise to between C$3 million and C$5 million each day in the third quarter. Carriers are increasing flying capacity, putting downward pressure on fares in certain areas. While domestic pricing is more difficult, "the environment is fairly steady" on international routes, according to Chief Commercial Officer Lucie Guillemette, who predicts a fall return in corporate travel. According to the airline, cargo flights, which were introduced during the pandemic, will become a more significant part of the carrier's future. Air Canada signed an assistance agreement with the Canadian federal government in April, allowing it to access up to C$5.9 billion in funds. Rousseau said that the airline would determine whether or not to withdraw from the government's financial facilities later this year. According to Refinitiv data, Air Canada lost C$3.03 per share excluding items. Analysts predicted a C$2.76 loss on average. In the fiscal quarter ended June 30, the airline's net loss was C$1.17 billion, or C$3.31 per share, compared to a loss of C$1.75 billion, or C$6.44 per share, a year earlier.

Read More

Spotlight

Ecuador is an amazing place to visit with your children, from the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Quito and Cuenca to the markets to the varied biodiversity throughout the country there is so much for families and children to enjoy. This video covers some tips and advice for visiting Ecuador with your kids, whether it is visiting the Galapagos Islands, the Highlands or somewhere in between there is a lot of families and kids to do.