Lastminute.com Group is creating an independent media company, known as Forward.
The group, whose brands include Bravofly, Lastminute and Rumbo, says Forward (FWD) is part of its focus on marketing services as well as the “next phase of the company’s evolution.”
Forward includes Travel People, the marketing service launched almost three years ago to enable other travel companies to advertise across the group’s brands.
The company is also launching a consultancy called Playbook, which aims to help companies bring their marketing activities in-house.
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Travel People now comprises a team of 60 and has grown annual media revenues by 40%, according to a statement.
The statement adds that the launch of FWD enables the company to use the expertise to broaden its offering.
Lastminute senior management team members have taken equity stakes in FWD.
Forward CEO Alessandra Di Lorenzo says: “Having in-housed media for Lastminute.com across Europe, we’ve experienced the challenges, solved the problems, spotted the opportunities and honed the process.
"We realized that we are perfectly placed to de-risk the process for other businesses, and to help move other brands forward by making their marketing activity more efficient, intelligent and relevant.”
Online travel agency Lastminute.com, which was launched by Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox in September 1998, was sold to Bravofly Rumbo for $120 million in late 2014.
Bravofly Rumbo was rebranded to Lastminute.com Group about six months later.
Executive Interview: Founders Factory
Brent Hoberman, co-founder at Lastminute.com and co-founder and chairman at Founders Factory, speaks at Phocuswright Europe 2019.