Indonesian Travel Startup Seeks to Raise Funds Valuing Company at $4.5 Billion

The Wall Street Journal | July 29, 2019

Traveloka, one of the largest online travel companies in Southeast Asia, is in talks to raise fresh funds that could value the Indonesian startup at as much as $4.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.Traveloka, which counts global travel company Expedia Group Inc., Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. and venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital among its investors, is looking to raise $500 million in its latest funding round, the people said.

Spotlight

Manali is a high-altitude Himalayan resort town in India’s northern Himachal Pradesh state. It has a reputation as a backpacking center and honeymoon destination. Set on the Beas River, it’s a gateway for skiing in the Solang Valley and trekking in Parvati Valley.

Spotlight

Manali is a high-altitude Himalayan resort town in India’s northern Himachal Pradesh state. It has a reputation as a backpacking center and honeymoon destination. Set on the Beas River, it’s a gateway for skiing in the Solang Valley and trekking in Parvati Valley.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Trip.com is Here for Travellers During the Summer of Travel Turbulence

Trip.com | August 10, 2022

The global travel rebound continues apace this summer, with global air traffic reaching almost 70% of pre-pandemic levels in May and international hotel occupancy rates achieving the same in April. Yet, against the backdrop of an increased appetite for travel driven by more than two years of pent-up demand, getaways over the summer months are likely to be affected by supply chain issues at airlines and airports, fully booked hotels and rising costs of accommodation and car hire.In the UK, travel chaos has dominated the headlines since springtime, with flight cancellations and long wait times, passenger caps and even a suspension on short-haul ticket sales threatening the chance of a summer holiday. In the US and Europe, the picture is equally fraught, and in Asia, recovery is fractured, with Southeast Asia and the Middle East recovering well, where China and South Korea are recovering at just 15% of pre-pandemic levels due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 outbreaks alike. As such, when customers should be getting excited about quality time with friends or family, relaxation and culture, they are now braced for uncertainty. At Trip.com Group, we are committed to helping our customers take the perfect trip, and this summer is no different. In a world where the travel landscape is increasingly complicated, our Trip.com platform has a range of products and partnerships in place to ease traveller concerns. Combined with our leading customer service, Trip.com aims to ensure everyone has a summer holiday to remember – for all the right reasons – this year. Trip.com Group's Pre-Travel Protection and Cost-Saving Products Earlier this year, Trip.com expanded on its travel insurance product offering in collaboration with AXA Partners. Made available to UK customers since September last year, this insurance product was extended to travellers across Europe earlier this year and can be easily selected when booking a flight on Trip.com. This travel insurance option provides a variety of benefits including medical, cancellation and baggage cover, as well as protection against cancellation and medical costs if a customer contracts COVID-19. With travel restrictions in place in many countries across Asia and beyond, this product is still incredibly useful in terms of providing ample traveller protection and peace of mind. In mainland China, our Ctrip platform introduced its TripTour2Day upgrade service, offering free refunds on group tour products cancelled up to two days before departure. Users simply click on the order details page to obtain a one-click refund in as little as one minute on products with the TripTour2Day label. A week after the TripTour2Day product was launched, sales exceeded 20 million, which proves how vital these products are in terms of offering customers total peace of mind. With many travellers in China harbouring concerns about whether COVID-19 measures would interfere with their plans, this allows users an increased level of flexibility when booking their next trip. "The TripTour2Day service upgrade shortens the threshold of a free refund from seven days or longer to just two days, giving every Ctrip user a better experience in terms of both booking and opportunity to refund. You can customise your travel needs at your own pace and join a tour with peace of mind," -Trip.com Group Tour Business CEO Wen Jiang. In addition to providing protection-based products, Trip.com is also helping guests to get the best value on their next getaway. As the costs of travel rapidly increase, customers are frequently looking for the best deals in order to maximise the return on their investment. By partnering with Hopper Price Freeze on our European and US sites, Trip.com is offering customers added protection against travel price volatility. For a small upfront fee, Trip.com users can freeze a flight price for up to 14 days, giving them the chance to confirm plans with their travel companions before booking without having to worry about an unnecessary price rise. Price Freeze ensures that customers never lose out, because if a Trip.com user freezes a flight and the prices go up, the difference is covered up to a set amount. If the price goes down, the user pays that lower price. Yudong Tan, CEO of the Flight Business Group, Trip.com Group commented, At Trip.com Group we are constantly seeking out ways to bring benefits to travellers. With this new Price Freeze feature, powered by Hopper, we are giving our customers more ways to save money when they book flights. Dedicated Customer Service Since the beginning of 2020, Trip.com's Customer Service team has been put through its paces, handling complex requests to support our users during some of the most testing times - and we continue to develop tech-focused Customer Service solutions today. Our intelligent storage auto-expansion technology has been upgraded to allow our systems to manage call levels more than 10 times higher than our average, and we developed an AI-centric mechanism to recognise and prioritise the most urgent customer cases, directing these calls to a staff member as quickly as possible. While speaking with a Customer Service agent, our assistant tool helps agents by automatically labelling and categorising requests in real time, saving customers time and energy while solving problems quicker than ever before. Our chatbot service also makes use of AI technology to automatically identify trending information in real time based on the most up to date COVID-19 policies and frequently asked questions, updating the FAQs on a daily basis and allowing customers to self-solve over 70% problems without having to hold for a Customer Service agent. The chatbot can also route requests directly to your hotel or airline, helping customers do everything from requesting a confirmation email to rescheduling a flight in the event of extreme weather conditions. In addition, Trip.com also launched its Customer Service Pledge in November 2021, committing to six key pillars including 24/7 support and free in-app calls. Grace Ding, Head of Trip.com's Global Customer Support Centre commented We are proud to see one of our companies make a pledge towards maintaining an incredible level of service to ensure people can continue to travel stress-free. With an average customer satisfaction rate of 90% in 2021, Trip.com is ready to support customers quickly and efficiently with any issues they face while travelling this summer. Delayed Baggage Protection As global lost luggage becomes a particularly problematic issue, Trip.com's Blue Ribbon Bags delayed baggage protection service also helps to remove the stress from summer travel. With this initiative, Trip.com users will be able to safeguard their checked luggage against any delays during transit. Commenting on the new service, Lyrics Zhao, Director of Product and Business Development in the Flights Business at Trip.com said, "Trip.com strives to make travel worry-free and relaxing for all. We want the booking experience to be the beginning of a relaxing trip and to offer value added services to the passenger." "Our service provides air travellers with confidence that if their checked-in baggage does not arrive at the destination airport, we will coordinate and expedite the swift return. Our clients should be able to enjoy their holiday or focus on their work trip while we locate and expedite the baggage," -CD Lazear, Senior Vice President of Blue Ribbon Bags. Whatever this summer throws at you, Trip.com will be by your side to offer solutions. At every stage throughout your travel journey, from pre-booking to when you land in your chosen destination, Trip.com's supportive staff and customer-focused products are available to support you every step of the way and make sure your next trip offers all the relaxation, fun and good times you've been craving.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Agoda and Alipay+ Expand on Their Partnership to Offer Greater Rewards to Travelers Through Digital Payment Methods

Agoda and Alipay+ | August 09, 2022

Agoda and Alipay+ announced a new partnership that will leverage Alipay+ solutions on the Agoda platform for better customer benefits and rewards. This is in addition to the existing integration of multiple digital wallets, namely the AlipayHK, GCash and TrueMoney, through Alipay+ on Agoda’s platforms.With this new partnership, multiple Alipay+ marketing solutions, including Alipay+ Rewards and its in-cashier marketing services, can be used for discounts distribution and redemption on Agoda. This enables Agoda to enhance its transaction conversion rate, while travelers can enjoy great returns in countries and regions like Hong Kong SAR of China, the Philippines, and Thailand – with the possibility of more regions to come in the future. As the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the online travel industry has seen a vigorous rebound. In some key countries across the region, bookings have increased nearly tenfold since the start of the year, according to Agoda data and this number is only expected to increase. “As we gear up for the return to travel, we want to offer our customers greater choice and flexibility in their bookings. The pandemic has greatly accelerated the digitisation of travel and we are committed to keeping with the times as we continue to onboard more diverse modes of payments globally. We value this partnership with Alipay+ as it helps us offer more benefits to the end user through the clever integration of new payment solutions and rewards programs – allowing us to reach out to and target a wider network of customers.” -Damien Pfirsch, CCO, Agoda. Introduced by Ant Group in 2020, Alipay+ is a suite of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions designed to enable businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and reach hundreds of millions of regional and global consumers. Other leading e-wallets supported by Alipay+ include Boost (Malaysia), Rabbit LINE Pay (Thailand), Touch 'n Go (Malaysia), Kakao Pay (South Korea), Klarna (Europe) and more. “We are glad to reach this new partnership with Agoda to support the recovery of the travel industry from the pandemic. With innovative payment and marketing solutions, Alipay+ is committed to helping merchants reach global consumers as a cross-border economic connector and allow consumers to make payments on global platforms with their preferred digital wallets.” -Jing Yin, General Manager of Global Strategic Accounts of International Business Group at Ant Group Agoda has partnered with Ant Group and integrated Alipay as a payment option in the Chinese market as early as 2013. Since early 2022, Agoda has been integrating Alipay+ payment solutions to accept payments through multiple digital wallets across Asia. On July 4, Agoda also worked with Alipay+ to launch a Brand Day campaign in the Philippines market. About Agoda Agoda helps anyone travel anywhere with its great value deals on a global network of 2.7M hotels and holiday properties worldwide, plus flights, airport transfers and more. Agoda.com and the Agoda mobile app are available in 39 languages and supported by 24/7 customer support. Headquartered in Singapore, Agoda is part of Booking Holdings (Nasdaq: BKNG) and employs more than 4,800 staff in 32 markets, dedicated to leveraging best-in-class technology to make travel even easier. About Alipay+ Alipay+ provides global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions that enable global e-wallets and merchant partners, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to better serve their users and customers. Alipay+ is introduced by Ant Group, the owner and operator of Alipay. As one of the world’s leading digital payment platforms, Alipay serves hundreds of millions of users by connecting them with merchants and partner financial institutions that offer inclusive financial services and digital daily life services.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

IDnow joins Accelerate@IATA to shape the future of seamless air travel

IDnow | September 13, 2022

IDnow, a leading European identity proofing platform provider, is pleased to announce its participation in the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Accelerate@IATA 2022 accelerator program. IDnow is working with IATA and its members, providing expertise and regulatory know-how in the field of identity proofing and digital identity. Together, IATA and IDnow are working on the shared goal of making flying more seamless and low-touch for passengers, while lowering fraud risks for airlines. IATA is the trade association for the world's airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. As a leading industry association, IATA is shaping industry standards and the future of aviation. Through the Accelerate@IATA program, IDnow is contributing to the IATA One ID working group. The goal of IATA One ID is to set industry standards that further streamline the passenger journey with digitalization of admissibility and a contactless process through secure biometric enabled identification. Under the One ID vision, upon completing document checks remotely, passengers will be able to arrive at the airport ready to fly and proceed through each airport touchpoint via simple biometric recognition. The objective is to achieve a truly interoperable global system across airports, airlines and governments. IDnow is collaborating with airlines and other technology providers members of the IATA Think Tank on a white paper about the application of digital identity in the air travel industry. In parallel, a proof of concept is being developed to show how digital identity can support people with reduced mobility with traveling, and airlines and airports to prioritize the required staff for the necessary support. We are very pleased to have IDnow participation in the heart of industry innovation conversations. IDnow brings their expertise on the secure decentralized digital identity to support the airline industry for the journey to customer-centricity. – Kat R. Morse, Senior Manager Innovation, Partnerships and Events at IATA. "We understand that in the modern air travel industry, digital identities have a huge potential to shape a whole new traveler experience. From lowering the fraud risk for airlines, to creating a more seamless and low-touch experience for passengers and offering a GDPR compliant solution for storing and sharing of biometric pictures for airports and other players – Digital identity is the key. We are excited and proud to have been selected by IATA to work together and to partner with some of the most prestigious airlines of the world to shape the future of air travel", -Michael A. Binner, Director Digital Identity at IDnow. About IDnow IDnow is a leading identity proofing platform provider in Europe with a vision to make the connected world a safer place. The IDnow platform provides a broad portfolio of identity verification solutions, ranging from automated to human-assisted from purely online to point-of-sale, each of them optimized for user conversion rates and security. In 2021, IDnow acquired the French market leader for identity technology, ARIADNEXT, and the German identity Trust Management AG, enabling IDnow to offer its customers one of the broadest identification solutions through a single, integrated platform. The company has offices in Germany, United Kingdom, France, and Dubai and is backed by renowned institutional investors, including Corsair Capital and Seventure Partners. Its portfolio of over 900 international clients, spans a wide range of industries, and includes leading international players, such as Western Union, UBS, Sixt and Munich Re, as well as digital champions like N26, Solarisbank, wefox and Tier mobility.

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