We are delighted to announce today that the majority of shares in bd4travel have been acquired by dnata travel. This marks the end of the first phase of the development of our company. When we started bd4travel at the end of 2012 we aimed to create a business that would change how travel is sold. And we believe that dnata will help us take the next step in this journey.

We have based our approach on key insights derived from years of working in travel technology. For example:

  1. Travel is different from other forms of e-commerce with massive combinations of data, long, emotional decision processes and low conversion rates.
  2. Today’s travel distribution technology is complex and does not easily adapt to generic big data, personalisation or AI systems.
  3. Travel portals tune their offering to the average user – not sufficiently addressing the personal interests and requirements of each shopper
  4. Typically 99 out of 100 potential customers are lost, generating huge acquisition costs and unsatisfied customers.
  5. Shoppers often don’t know what they want until they start comparing.
  6. Personalisation is only worth doing if the content is varied enough to make it worthwhile.
  7. People change their minds as they shop and sites need to have the flexibility to respond.

All of these things lead us towards the application of machine learning techniques to profile individual users of sites and the products they were looking at. 5 years ago few of our prospects found this interesting but now it seems like most people and their dog have an AI approach that is being tried out.

After these years of applying AI and Machine learning to profiling people and having profiled more than 700M users in multiple countries – we do see that we can make a significant improvement to the purchase journey. Quite simply people respond better when they are treated as individuals.

We now work across the world to help companies start their journey towards true personalisation – moving beyond segmentation or business rules to reflect what each individual wants to find.

Our products are now truly good, we believe they are class leading.  We have undertaken many implementations and we understand the challenges and benefits of moving towards full personalisation. We are very grateful for the clients who put their trust in us to make a difference to their businesses.

The major highlights have been:

  • Gaining Expedia Germany as our first client.
  • Winning the 2014 Phocuswright Marketing Innovation Award.
  • Winning the Startup Of The Year, the Best Technology Provider and just last week the Best Technological Innovation 2018 awards at Travolution.
  • Winning the TTE Innovation Award and the Hilton pitch competition.
  • Working in depth with clients like Holidaycheck, Berge und Meer and other parts of the TUI Group.
  • And all other customers that we cannot mention here – we thank you too!
  • Getting in deep to understand and analyse the data of Travel Republic.

This last one lead us to meet the dnata travel management who shared with us their vision of how we could not only help their travel businesses, but how they could help us grow internationally to reach other travel businesses who need more tools in their box to find their way in this Google- and Amazon-dominated world.

We will, of course, deepen our work with the dnata businesses, but we will stay as an independent unit who will work with a wide variety of clients to make a genuine travel industry alternative to the main technology providers. Dnata will help us keep providing tools and technology to travel companies across the globe and will back us in our ambitions.

So we see this next phase as being really exciting and the beginning of a new, second phase for bd4travel. We are sad to say goodbye to our investors but we are looking forward to the future working with Iain Andrews (Divisional Senior Vice President, Travel Services) and his team at dnata. We are looking forward to developing and delivering a host of new products. Our focus, for now, will be delivering the projects we have recently taken on, recruiting the team we need to expand the delivery of our vision and increase our impact starting to look outside Europe with the support of dnata.

Thank you to all who supported us and helped us along the way!

I want to thank our investors who stood behind us to get us to this point. We really appreciated it and have valued your counsel as well as your investment. Thank you to our board and to our advisors for supporting us through this journey.

We have great people to work with us and we are on the lookout for more to join our product and tech teams in Frankfurt or our commercial team in London. Thank you team (past and present) for all your hard work. It has been an immense pleasure to take an idea from pre-powerpoint, through discussions with clients to a fully fledged platform.

We have invested several million euros in our platform and the architecture that supports it, creating a raft of opportunities for our clients. To get there has taken us more than 60 person years of development.  We have learned a huge amount about what works and what doesn’t work.

We are now looking for additional great colleagues who want the challenge to help us grow faster, go deeper and be better.  We have clients to serve and a world of opportunities to go after. Our team is a multinational mixture. Though most people are based in Frankfurt, we welcome contributions from data savvy individuals from anywhere. We aim to be the very best at delivering insight to our clients and we have extraordinary data to work with.

We love people who are not average. Come and join us if you think you can make a contribution that is different. If data insights appeal to you and you have a talent for seeing connections that others miss, if you are really good with clients or love finding ways to make systems work at crazy speeds, then maybe we are a place for you.

It’s time to take it to the next level. We very much look forward to contributing more to the travel industry with the backing of one of the world’s great travel businesses.

Andy Owen-Jones

CEO & Co-Founder of bd4travel