HRS Group, the only investor in corporate travel startup
Conichi with a $10 million seed round in 2015, has now acquired the
Berlin-based company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move is part of HRS’ development of a payment product
Conichi founder and CEO Max Waldmann says the company’s Smarthotel
product, which automates hotel check-in and check-out procedures, will continue
to be offered as a product of HRS.
Waldmann, along with co-founder Frederic Haitz and the other
70 members of the Conichi staff, will join HRS to develop automated payment
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“HRS has looked at payments for quite a while. They’ve
had a product called Central Billing and Paperless Travel, which they’ve been
promoting and selling to large customer globally,” Waldmann says.
“And what we’re doing is essentially taking the assets HRS
has been building in the last years, taking what HRS has purchased from us and
combining that in one new entity focused exclusively and entirely on payments. By
streamlining the acceptance of virtual payments we can optimize the entire corporate
The HRS payments business unit will
be led by Nicole Mantow, who joined the company in June after serving as
managing director for Germany at EVO Payments International. Waldmann will
become chief operating officer and Haitz chief product officer for the payments
“Payment has long been one of our most important strategic pillars. The
new structure ensures the agility of the division while emphasizing the
importance of payment solutions as managed travel evolves,” says Tobias Ragge,
“An innovative and reliable payment process achieves 23 percent higher
acceptance of the travel program by travelers; no other solution offers
companies such savings potential, especially with an uncertain global economy
looming in 2020.”
Conichi was one of PhocusWire’s Hot 25 Startups for 2019 and also innovator of the year at Phocuswright Europe 2017.