Chinese technology provider Shiji Group has acquired content management and distribution platform Ice Portal.
The integration will help Shiji’s hospitality clients curate and distribute visual content on a global scale.
With Ice Portal, hotels can deliver media including photos, videos and 360-degree tours to travelers through thousands of connected distribution channels including online travel agencies, global distribution systems and wholesalers.
“In our vision to connect the global business of the hospitality industry, we see media content distribution as a critical part of the process,” says Greg Berman, COO Americas of Shiji Group.
“We have relied on third parties in the past, but we believe that by integration this function in our platform environment we can greatly increase service to the industry, making global distribution of rates and availability alongside media content a unified process.”
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Shiji's cloud platforms serve more than 60,000 hotels, 200,000 restaurants and 400,000 retail outlets.
The purchase of Ice Portal follows two acquisitions for Shiji - SnapShot and StayNTouch - which were fueled by a $486 million investment from Alibaba.
Speaking in a recent interview, Shiji COO Kevin King said that while the company doesn’t comment on future acquisitions, it’s Shiji’s mission to “build platforms that integrate vertically across multiple industries and vertically within industries.
He continued: “When we see there is a need for technology and there are existing experts who are doing a great job and can add value to our platforms, that’s when we consider acquiring the company. In most cases we work with them for many years before and if it is a right fit and the conditions are good for both parties we look at it.”
Henry Woodman, president of Ice Portal, says, “By joining the Shiji Group, we have an enormous opportunity to grow infrastructure and service to our existing clients but also to the hundreds of thousands of hotels who aren’t yet distributing their visual content through a global platform.
“It has been estimated that 82% of internet content will be video by 2021, hence having a strong platform to manage and distribute visuals is critical to any brand’s performance.”
Ice Portal will integrate into Shiji as a fully owned subsidiary and Shiji Group brand.