Flight Centre (FLT) has acquired a 25 per cent stake in US-based, tech-travel business The Upside Travel Company.
The deal means Flight Centre is now Upside’s largest individual shareholder, and will gain access to a travel technology platform and software development resources that will enhance its offering in the SME corporate sector.
In addition, the two companies have entered into a commercial deal covering cooperation on various distribution initiatives that combine FLT’s understanding of the corporate travel space with Upside’s technical assets.
“Upside is an emerging corporate travel business with an innovative customer offering that has the potential to disrupt traditional offerings in the SME sector in the future,” said Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner.
“[We are] fast-tracking our overall growth in this huge travel sector by offering customers the benefits of a new, blended on and offline offering.
“This offering will be deployed in the Americas in the near-term, and has been earmarked for release in the UK in the medium-term.”
Jay Walker, Upside founder and CEO, said Flight Centre is the perfect partner for Upside “as we get aggressive in serving small corporate clients”.
“Not only does FLT’s global scale, content and experience immediately make our product more complete and more credible, but FLT’s people and expertise also make us smarter, which is key as we accelerate into the future,” he said.