(Photo by Flickr user Brett Levin, used under a Creative Commons license)
Flight Centre Group (ASX: FLT) is investing in Washington, D.C.-based Upside Travel, a platform that allows companies to streamline the flight and hotel booking process and build customized travel packages, making it the largest shareholder in the business travel startup.
Upside Travel was launched in 2017 by Priceline founder Jay Walker. Flight Centre Group is a retail travel outlet headquartered in Brisbane, Australia.
Flight Centre Group said it is acquiring a 25 percent stake in Upside to strengthen its growing global corporate travel business. Through the deal, Flight Centre Group gains access to Upside’s travel tech platform and software development resources, a press release states. This investment also comes with a commercial deal on various distribution initiatives combining Upside’s tech strengths with Flight Centre’s corporate travel experience.
“We have been impressed by the capability and flexibility of Upside’s technology and team to improve the business traveler experience,” Dean Smith, president of Flight Centre Group‘s Americas operations said in a statement. “Its use of machine learning models to dynamically price business travel packages in real-time to save clients money while increasing traveler options is just one example of Upside’s best in class technology.”
Upside will continue to operate its product offerings under its brand, while gaining a broader set of travel data inputs from Flight Centre Group‘s supplier relationships and global reach.
“FLT is the perfect partner for Upside as we get aggressive in serving small corporate clients. Not only does FLT’s global scale, content and experience immediately make our product more complete, but FLT’s people and expertise also make us smarter, which is key as we accelerate into the future.” Upside CEO Jay Walker said in a statement.
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