Realise your business potential 21 - 22 February 2018

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Launchpad interviews now live!

Jan 25, 2017

We catch up with the disruptors set to change travel technology in 2017.

Airline Technologies

When did you launch?

We launched in 2015.

How many people are working for the company?

We have 10 full time resources.

Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence?

Airlines Technology is a travel technology company providing NDC (New Distribution Capability) based IT solution to airlines, travel agents and 3rd party vendor.

Why is it unique?

With AT’s NDC based IT solutions, globally all airlines and travel agents will work on IATA backed XML standards. This will enable Airlines to be directly connected to online travel agent portal and showcase everything they have on OTA portal itself.

Now end user will be able to buy all onboard facilities like meal, extra leg room, onboard entertainment, WiFi and ground facilities like priority boarding, free lounge, limo pick & drop, check-in seat etc. directly from travel agent’s portal. All these offers will transparently come directly from Airlines, saving huge intermediately cost, boosting their sales revenue and loads of rich content to end-users.

Why is it disruptive? Why do travellers like it?

The whole focus of this initiative is to preserve interests on global airlines equity investors across the industry.  A few Indian Airlines are classic examples of how value in this business has been depreciating for decades. Increase in the productivity of distribution channels, strengthening net income and lowering operating costs of all airlines will help this cause.

With AT’s NDC initiative, this will change. Now end user will be able to buy all onboard facilities like meal, extra leg room, onboard entertainment, WIFI and ground facilities like priority boarding, free lounge, limo pick & drop, check-in seat etc. directly from travel agent’s portal. All these offers will transparently come directly from Airlines, saving huge intermediately cost, boosting their sales revenue and loads of rich content to end users.

This will empower travellers to compare all onboard and ground facilities before making the final choice. It’s evident that all users are not same. Some prefer comfort, some want value for money and the rest may prefer the smallest price. So, if you are flying non-stop from Delhi to New York city, Wi-Fi either free or with small price tag will become mandatory. Or if you are flying with infants or small kids, fresh baby food served at the right temperature can’t be justified with any price tag. Any parent will pay for that kind of service. This empowerment to showcase all your amenities will help airlines to invest and upgrade on facilities and service level of their staff and aircrafts. 

Further with your profile and travel history at online travel agent portal and airlines, you will get customized offers to suit your needs. So, in order to attract returning customers, airlines can offer complimentary upgrades, better wines and services on board. Another airline may give better fare pricing on the same facilities and services. So NDC will also open up competition and more options for travellers. All these offers and options will be dynamically pushed while you browse on a travel portal. This means that after booking, customers will no longer kick themselves for missing an upgrade of limo transfer for only £50 as they will have all of the information easily available.

What problem does it solve?

Today travel agents make 70%-75% of airlines reservations. Airlines pay hefty fees for those and they are not able to sell ancillary services (wi-fi, food, lounge, preferred seats, boarding etc ) on online travel agent (OTA) portals. This results in huge revenue and opportunity loss for airlines. Consumers also don't know what they deserve. They see only fares on the OTA portal and have to make choice with limited information. They don't understand if two flights are offering same or similar price and which one will suit their needs best. We make the travellers more informed and allow the airlines to make more money.

What platforms is it available on and can integrate with? 

It can be integrated with any Internet Booking Engine (IBE), GDS or PSS systems.

What markets is it available in? 

It’s a global product/service and available for all.

Which companies are using it already? 

JR Technologies, Amadeus, Farelogix are already working on it.

What does the travel industry like about it?  

Apart from being able to buy ancillary services and compare all offers and facilities before making final purchases, airlines will save huge distribution costs by having a direct connect with an OTA. Generally distribution cost is 10% of revenues.

What are your growth plans?

In the next 12 months, we will become the preferred aggregation platform for airlines and travel agents. Apart from aggregation, we will setup IT systems for many airlines and travel agents. Our services include:

  • IT Solutions - We will create NDC based customized new reservation systems for Airlines and travel agents.

     

  • Aggregator - We will be middle layer between Airlines and Travel Agents and help them exchange messages NDC way. We will charge either per transaction (booking) or periodical subscription. 

  • Data Analytics - Data flowing between airlines and travel agents can be worked upon to help them in business and sales decisions , planning and projections.

Why are you looking forward to exhibiting at the Travel Technology Europe?

We want to showcase our offerings to airlines and travel agents/TMC and get feedback from the professionals in the industry

RoomAssistant

When did you launch?

We founded the company in October 2015.

How many people are working for the company?

We currently have 13 people working in our company, some of them are in-house and some of them work remotely.

Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence?

RoomAssistant is a mobile application for hotel guests, allowing them to have all hotel services in their smartphones or tablets.

Why is it unique?

The majority of hotel mobile apps provide guests only with the booking possibility. We go far beyond that because we actually care for guests even when they come to the hotel. RoomAssistant can make them more informed about the things that are available in the hotel and the area. They have 24/7 access to the information and they don’t have to wait anymore once they need something from hotel.

The app can be customized to the needs of particular hotels pretty quickly. Hotels can choose between white-label application and standard RoomAssistant. Standard application works in each hotel that uses RoomAssistant, so guests don’t have to download new app when they switch a hotel.

Why is it disruptive?

Because it gives new marketing, sales and customer service tool to the hands of hoteliers. Hotels are able to upsell their services (and thus, generate more money), they can keep guests engaged during their stay and they can also please them wherever guests are – the hotel is now in the guest’s pocket.

What problem does it solve?

From the perspective of guests, RoomAssistant eliminates waiting. They don’t have to call to or visit a front desk; in case they have some problem (inside or outside the hotel); they can reach hotel staff to ask for help; and they always have up to date information about special offers and what to do (in the language they understand) so they don’t get bored.

There are many benefits for hoteliers, too. First of all, booking engines are cutting hotel margins. RoomAssistant allows effective upselling of hotel services so they can maximize the amount guests spend during their visit – this way, they will earn money back. Moreover, in case of negative feedback (this feedback is visible only for hotel), hotel staff can approach the guests immediately and resolve the issue before the guest leaves. As a result, the guest is less motivated to leave a negative review, or so pleased that they will share positive reviews. Last but not least, if hotels have special offers, no fliers, brochures or posters are necessary. Hotels can send mass messages to all guests and reach them in real time.

What platforms is it available on and can integrate with? 

The mobile application is available both for Android and iOS. The administration (the part of the software handled by hotel staff) runs in cloud, so hotels need only a web browser and access to the Internet. It can be also integrated with other software, such as Property Management Systems, via API.

What markets is it available in? 

It is available worldwide, however, our main markets are Europe and Southeast Asia.

Which companies are using it already? 

We work with several hotel chains (Akaryn Hotel Group, Trinity Hotels and Resorts, etc.) and individual hotels. Moreover, RoomAssistant is going to be a part of the National Tourism System in Slovakia.

What does the travel industry like about it?  

New possibilities to reach guests, staff efficiency and immediacy.

Why do travellers like it?

Because it is practical and easy-to-use.

What are your growth plans?

We would like to extend our reach to European countries as well as in the countries of Southeast Asia. We also intend to build partnerships with companies from the hotel industry who provide supplementary software. Moreover, we would like to be able to provide worldwide real-time support.

Why are you looking forward to exhibiting at the Travel Technology Europe?

Because we love to meet great people and learn about new markets. We also would like to say “Hi” to competitors, increase our visibility, and obviously generate more leads and sales.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqEcB_Cdy5c

Sumplex

When did you launch?

Early 2016 after 2 years of product development.

How many people are working for the company?

We have seven staff

Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence?

We provide up-to-date B2B/B2C hotel descriptions, images and related information (unique per customer) in all the major global languages.  

Why is it unique?

We are the only company to provide auto-generated real-time updated hotel content in all major languages.

Why is it disruptive?

It replaces the current inconsistent hotel content provided by supplier feeds.

What problem does it solve?

Sumplex solves the ubiquitous issue faced by all OTAs, which is to provide consistently formatted and up-to-date hotel information without the protracted and expensive human translation element, allowing instant access to new markets like China.

What platforms is it available on and can integrate with?

Sumplex content is provided in digital format, which can be consumed on the customer side with a simple integration process.  

What markets is it available in? 

Global

Which companies are using it already? 

We currently provide content across the spectrum, from global OTAs to boutique B2C players.

What does the travel industry like about it?

Our content provides instant access to new markets, dramatically reduces cost and human error, and largely negates customer service blowback by providing constantly updated facilities and errata.   

Why do travellers like it?

Consumers have high expectations when it comes to information and Sumplex is able to provide an unparalleled depth and breadth of global hotel information.

What are your growth plans?

As a pure digital play we don’t envisage a pressing need to expand our physical footprint, but rather focus on expanding our property catalogue, level of property information and additional languages and dialects.

Why are you looking forward to exhibiting at the Travel Technology Europe?

We believe we are positioned at the early adopter stage of the technology curve and this exposure to a relevant audience will accelerate our transition the early majority stage.

Switch.cm

When did you launch?  

We launched about 6 months ago (August 2016)

How many people are working for the company?

We have a team of 6 people.

Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence?

Our software allows hotels to use A/B testing to quantify the effects of their pricing strategy.

Why is it unique?

Instead of revenue management that just tells you that lowering your prices will increase demand, our software allows a hotel to see that lowering their prices by X will increase it by Y percent, allowing them to make educated decisions about their pricing strategy.

Why is it disruptive?

It arms revenue managers with quantitative data to make their decisions instead of relying on price scraping.

What problem does it solve?

If a hotel changes their prices by X, what is the exact change it will have on their booking velocity?

What platforms is it available on and can integrate with? 

It's currently a mobile-responsive web app, and we have integrations with every major OTA (Booking, Expedia, Agoda, AirBNB, etc).

Which companies are using it already? 

We have hotels in 41 countries using our software.

What does the travel industry like about it?  

We built our distribution network from scratch, which most travel industry engineers will appreciate.

Why do travellers like it?

We help travellers' boutique hotels move away from outdated & expensive hotel software so they can focus on providing a better consumer experience.

What are your growth plans?

We're hoping to continue expanding our product portfolio and user base over the next year.

Why are you looking forward to exhibiting at the Travel Technology Europe?

We've had tremendous success in the UK since we launched and are hoping to meet some more potential customers.

Tineri

When did you launch?

We are a new company, which has just launched in beta!

How many people are working for the company?

Two co-founders, one advisor, two developers and one admin.

Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence?

Tineri enables travel providers to supplement or replace their traditional itinerary documents with a stylish, interactive mobile app, which includes itinerary, communications platform, daily satisfaction surveys, social media sharing and more.

Why is it unique?

It is the first product of its kind in Asia and the only one that allows tour operators to stay in regular mobile contact with their clients, as well as gathering daily feedback rather than waiting until the end of the tour.

Why is it disruptive?

It is one of the only solutions addressing the customer-facing side of tour operations rather than just the back end. We believe that once a few TOs start using it, their competitors, with their old-fashioned printed itineraries, will look pretty outdated.

What problem does it solve?

At the moment tour operators expect their clients to either carry around several pages of A4 while on tour, or scroll through a PDF every day - my last employer, a luxury travel agent, used to send out 50+ page paper itineraries which were a pain to carry around and an even bigger pain when changes were needed. These itinerary formats are inflexible, impractical and frequently cause version control problems. Tineri places the itinerary on the client's mobile device, makes it interactive, and itinerary changes can be done on the fly without the need to reissue documents. It also solves the problem many tour operators have of staying in contact with their clients while they are travelling, and being made aware of customer dissatisfaction as soon as it happens, rather than at the end of the tour.

What platforms is it available on and can integrate with? 

The back-end is cloud-based, and the app is available on Android and iOS. We are working on integrations with leading tour operator back office solutions. 

What markets is it available in? 

Available worldwide but our initial focus is on Southeast Asia - not only are we based there, but it is the world's fastest growing travel market.

Which companies are using it already? 

SE Asia DMC giant Southeast Asia are our first client and development partner, and we will soon be beta testing with Grasshopper Adventures and Taste of Thailand.

What does the travel industry like about it?  

It gives early adopters a competitive edge and a real USP with their clients. It's easy to use - little implementation or user training required. And our most popular feature is our daily surveys, which allow tour operators to constantly monitor customer satisfaction with every element of the trip and continually enhance the quality of their tours.

Why do travellers like it?

95% of people carry a smartphone when they travel, so it makes sense for all their trip information to be on there. It's a lot easier than lugging around 20 pages of A4, and makes it easier for travellers to stay in touch with their tour operator or travel agent, and make them aware of problems or request changes/additional services.

What are your growth plans?

We have already appointed resellers for Southern Africa and the Balkans and are in talks with others. We are integrating with leading back office tour operator solutions to further increase our distribution network. We are also planning versions for educational travel, weddings and MICE.

Why are you looking forward to exhibiting at the Travel Technology Europe?

Hoping to meet potential clients, partners and investors, and also pick up some new ideas and inspiration. And I used to live within walking distance of Olympia so will be nice to be back in the old neighbourhood again, after 14 years!

Bubbl

When did you launch?
We set up the business in April 2016, and formally launched Bubbl as an app plug in and marketing campaign dashboard product in October 2016.

How many people are working for the company?
We are a team of 12.

Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence?

Bubbl provides brands with a state of the art app plugin, unlocking in-the-moment consumer engagement and instant insight via geofence-triggered marketing functionality and a cloud-based analytics platform.

Why is it unique?
Bubbl revolutionises mobile customer engagement capability for brands and businesses of any size, it operates from a consumer privacy first premise, without compromising on engagement or the capture of useful data to inform mobile marketing campaign strategies.

Why is it disruptive?
We believe mobile marketing doesn’t have to mean annoying adverts, IP address tracking, beacons or customer profiling. Bubbl doesn’t breach the new privacy legislations that will sweep through the mobile ad industry impacting on the permissions, capture, tracking and use of personal data. We believe that current solutions don’t fulfill travel brand’s BIG needs and don’t provide genuine consumer engagement.

What problem does it solve?
There are many problems that Bubbl aims to uniquely solve... The backlash against personal data collection and usage – Bubbl doesn’t require any personal data to function, so users can remain anonymous and opt in if they want to have a more personalised engagement with a brand. Even in its most private setting, Bubbl still provides a brand with useful location-based data to inform the development of marketing campaigns, e.g. footfall analysis and engagement trends reports. Low response to mobile ads - Bubbl has a level of mobile customer engagement and response capability that we believe is not offered anywhere else. Bubbl gives live geographically attributable footfall analysis and evidence of impact immediately, allowing on the fly campaign changes if required Battery drain. Bubbl works only when needed and doesn’t drain battery or data beyond minimal levels.

Bubbl is not about sending adverts and as such isn’t affected by ad blockers. Instead, consumers can completely control the number of engagements they receive and decide if they want to opt in to full data sharing.

What platforms is it available on and can integrate with?
Bubbl can be easily plugged into any Brands’ existing iOS and Android apps, the whole process takes less than a few minutes!

What markets is it available in?
Primary markets are travel, hospitality, leisure and entertainment. This includes anyone who has an existing app in travel agents, tour operators, hotels and hotel aggregators, airports, airlines, restaurants, bars, destinations, museums, tourism apps, ticketing and booking apps, loyalty apps, theme parks, festivals, sport and music events.

Secondary markets are retail, digital marketing agencies and app development agencies.

Which companies are using it already?
We are currently running commercial trials and have a strong pipeline of interested clients, primarily from the tourism, leisure, entertainment, and sport sectors.

What does the travel industry like about it?
Successful travel marketing is based on building a relationship with customers and increasing loyalty between a brand and a consumer. Mobile tools like geofencing have made that connection easier to establish than ever. With Bubbl, marketers can now use real time marketing tools to maximise mobile moments, i.e. real opportunities to engage. Bubbl lets you hyperfocus campaigns by location and time, leading to better results than ever before.

Why do travellers like it?
Travellers are bombarded with mobile advertising that is out of context, not useful, not relevant or entertaining and rarely solicited by them.

Bubbl operates from a privacy first perspective dictated by the consumer. It allows a brand to use their own App to engage with consumers, without the app even needing to be open. The App plug in means consumers get to engage with brands they like at the right time and in the right place, with a wealth of location-aware two-way marketing tools such as video and audio content, images, live feedback and exit surveys (net promoter scores) retail and web links amongst others. They are all pertinent to a traveller’s whereabouts, whether within a precise location as small as 5sqm or an area as large as a country.

What are your growth plans?
We are currently closing a seed investment round to support the progression of our commercial development and we are looking to Series A investment later in 2017. This will allow us to rapidly expand the business.

Why are you looking forward to exhibiting at the Travel Technology Europe?
We are looking forward to meeting potential clients and commercial partners who are looking for pioneering ways to engage with customers using new and exciting mobile technology that doesn’t compromise on useful data, but still respects consumer concerns about privacy and personal data tracking.

Winding Tree

When did you launch?

We're planning to launch our first version of the platform in April 2017.

How many people are working for the company?

Currently there are just 4 people.

Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence?

Winding Tree radically simplifies travel distribution.

Why is it unique?

We are one of the first Blockchain companies in travel and there are many aspects of what we do that's different from what other travel companies are doing. Our project will be open-source and owned by the community; it's also a project created for engineers by engineers.

Why is it disruptive?

Winding Tree is a tectonic shift in how we do travel distribution. The fact that we use Blockchain allows us to disinter mediate the too-complicated travel space and streamline all the processes around travel distribution and fulfillment. Our platform is designed to allow other projects to be built on top of it: pricing algorithms, personalization engines, etc.

What problem does it solve?

It solves the problems in the travel distribution space that prevent startups from innovating. On the supplier side the problem is that OTAs and GDSs are charging exorbitant fees and use outdated technologies. On the travel agent / travel startup side the problem is that it's very hard to access the data from suppliers, because only a handful of companies control 95% of that data.

What platforms is it available on and can integrate with?

We're building Winding Tree MVP (minimum viable product) on Ethereum. We could potentially expand to other platforms, like Rootstock, in the future.

What markets is it available in?

Winding Tree will be available globally.

Which companies are using it already?

We're having conversations with major international airlines, hotels, property management systems, etc.

What does the travel industry like about it?

It simplifies a lot of things for suppliers of travel (hotels, airlines, tour and activity providers, etc.). It also helps the travel agents and startups to access supplier inventory in a radically simplified way.

Why do travelers like it?

Our platform helps to reduce the cost of travel. It also helps travel agents to access supplier data more easily. It means, for example, that now travel agents have more time on their hands to combine travel (flights, hotels) in interesting ways.

What are your gowth plans?

Our plan is to allow the new generation of software engineers to build amazing travel products in no time. We believe that in 5 years majority of travel companies, be it hotels, airlines or travel agencies, will be software companies. As Marc Andreessen famously said: software eats the world. In the travel space, Winding Tree will fuel that process.

Why are you looking forward to exhibiting at the Travel Technology Europe?

We're looking forward to connect with new partners and industry experts.

 

 

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