Katanox, an Amsterdam-based startup that facilitates direct
B2B distribution of travel accommodations and payments, has raised $5.7 million
in a seed round.
Investors in the round include Rappi and Yuno co-founder
Juan Pablo Ortega; Jan Joost Kalff, co-founder of fintech Dimebox and current
co-founder and CEO of Found; and Bas Blommaart, founder of hospitality tech iTesso.
Along with this raise, Katanox has appointed Expedia Media
Solutions senior vice president Rob Torres as a non-executive director. Torres
returned to Expedia Group last month after more than 15 years at Google as
managing director of Google Travel.
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Torres will be working with Katanox to facilitate
partnerships with global hotel brands.
“I am very excited to grow my relationship with the team and
apply best practices from the programmatic advertising industry for B2B
distribution in hospitality,” Torres says.
“The Katanox team is building an intriguing set of solutions
to bring transparency that's needed for the open distribution era.”
Founded in 2020, Katanox brings together accommodations so
travel management companies and other sellers can create a streamlined
experience for corporate clients to search, book, pay and modify bookings.
The company says it is “streamlining and improving the distribution
of travel accommodations, which has historically been controlled by online travel
agencies, global distribution systems and bedbanks." It is also developing financial solutions such as price freeze and “travel now/pay later” to create new revenue opportunities for its partners.
Katanox says it will use the funding to
expand internationally and further develop its platform and integrations with
CRS, PMS and payment service providers.
“Out of necessity, we’ve seen many advancements and
improvements in the travel sector spurred on by technology and digitalization.
However, when it comes to lodging, it’s the safe middlemen who are controlling
the market and stifling growth,” says Mendel Senf, co-founder of Katanox.
“We’re bringing much needed change to the market by putting
power back in the hands of accommodation providers by empowering them to
control their own destination via the Katanox platform.”
Prior to this round, Katanox had raised $1 million in pre-seed