Flight Centre Travel Group has boosted its business travel presence with the acquisition of a 25% stake in corporate travel startup Upside for an undisclosed sum.
Upside, which was launched in 2017 by Priceline founder Jay Walker, rewards business travelers who make savings by being flexible with their travel.
According to a statement, the strategic investment makes Flight Centre the largest individual shareholder in Upside.
The investment provides Australia-based Flight Centre with access to Upside’s technology platform and software development resources.
The statement says that terms also include a commercial deal for cooperation on various distribution initiatives combining Upside’s technology strengths with Flight Centre’s corporate travel experience.
Flight Centre says it will use Upside’s platform to boost its Corporate Traveler business.
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The investment follows Flight Centre’s recent acquisition of business travel chatbot service Sam as well as its investment in 30SecondsToFly.
For Upside, which raised $50 million in January 2017, the deal widens its appeal to the small business market while giving it access to supplier relationships.
Upside announced a deal to provide travel services to readers of the Wall Street Journal in late 2017, which aimed to tap into the unmanaged business travel market.
At the time, founder Jay Walker said the company hoped to expand beyond the United States with similar deals with partners that have global audiences.
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