Tour and activity platform Zozi is branching out into the world of B2B services after buying reservation system provider Tripflavor.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed (and it actually took place in the last quarter of 2012), but wider details around the reasons for the deal have not been released until now as integration of the Tripflavor service has only now been officially launched.
As a result of the acquisition, the company has developed a new service it calls Zozi Advance - essentially a real-time booking, scheduling, payment and CRM platform for tour and activity suppliers.
Initially the product will be available for product owners in the US and Canada, with global elements expected to come available soon, CEO T J Sassani says.
Tripflavor originally launched in 2011 and was touted as an "Opentable-style" platform for tour and activity suppliers, fronted by an early Airbnb employee, CEO and co-founder Sam Edelson, alongside ex-Ning engineer, Gene Drabkin.
It raised a seed round of financing in late-2011 from angels and others including Nathan Blecharczyk (co-founder and CTO of Airbnb), Mark Leslie (chairman and CEO of Veritas) and Ken Keller (co-founder of IGN Entertainment).
"Zozi Advance is unique for activity merchants because it’s the first platform to also bring substantial, high-quality new customer flow to the merchant via a branded channel, Zozi."
Expedia, of course, might have something to say about this given that it created its Local Expert Hub in late-2012 with a vision to supply tour and activity suppliers with a route to market as well as technology and services on the back-end.
Nevertheless, Zozi's move marks the end of an interesting 18 months for the company, having launched its celebrity-fronted products in early 2012, buying Tripflavor and capturing a $10 million finding round in April this year, bringing its total investment so far to $17.5 million.
In terms of any existing merchants using the Tripflavor service, pre-acquisition, Sassani says:
"TripFlavor did have a meaningful number of merchants on their platform. In terms of continuing these partnerships, we’ll be evaluating each one on a case by case basis."