Connect with us

Start Ups

What does the future hold for business travel?

Published

on

I could start this article off by telling you about how the coronavirus pandemic changed our world. But I’m not going to dwell on that. We all remember how difficult 2020 was. It’s not something we’re likely to forget soon.

What I do want to focus on is the future—and it’s one that I see as particularly bright. We’re living in a time where scientists were able to produce multiple vaccines to combat the spread of a previously unknown virus in a year. If that’s not something to celebrate, then what is? That’s why I know that this “new normal” isn’t going to be something out of a dystopian novel. Life is going to be normal again, and travel is going to come back. It’s just going to be a little different.

As the vaccine rollout continues across the globe and travellers start to get back on the road again, here are a few trends I predict will characterize the future of the travel industry.

Flexible trips will be the normal way of traveling

Flexibility as a tool for safe and comfortable travel

Flexible fares will become a must-have for frequent travellers. We can already see travel coming back in different stages around the world, but the speed of vaccine rollouts and changing travel restrictions can still affect planned trips. That’s why travellers will rely on flexible fares to give them the peace of mind that they won’t lose money if they need to change or cancel a trip on short notice. It’s about having that “comfort net” that their itinerary isn’t 100% set in stone.

Demand for more flexibility beyond COVID-19

Flexibility is one of the most in-demand perks in business travel (and leisure travel too) on a broader scale. It’s not just to do with COVID-19 – travellers have long been seeking less rigid booking policies and fares from airlines, for example. The pandemic simply made this non-negotiable. At this point, I think that travellers and travel managers will continue to demand the flexibility to change or cancel any aspect of a trip, no matter the reason, and no questions asked.

Sustainability will have a serious seat at the table

Trains before planes

There are actually two reasons people will use trains before planes. First, there is a perception that trains are safer from COVID-19 than planes. That’s because they’re more spacious, there’s less bottleneck crowding at security, and many train stations are outdoors. Second, trains are undoubtedly the more environmentally-friendly option. In fact, taking a train over a domestic flight can reduce an individual’s carbon emissions by about 84%! Countries like France are even banning the use of planes for short-haul flights under 2.5 hours. Other European countries like Austria and Germany are also considering similar legislation. Sustainability was a hot topic even before the outbreak of the pandemic, and now industry players are realizing that they need to bring the overall environmental impact of their organizations down. And it starts with something as simple as booking business travelers on trains for short-haul journeys.

A greater desire for sustainable travel

The virus woke a sort of “collective consciousness” about sustainability in us all. We realized that we weren’t prepared for a crisis of this scale and that the next big crisis is likely to come from climate change. More and more travellers are opting to travel sustainably through things like carbon offsetting. As millennials start to form a greater part of the workforce, the values they were raised with to recycle and be mindful of the environment will take hold in businesses. Travel directly or indirectly affects most of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and the industry as a whole will give sustainability a more serious seat at the table as a result. Businesses worldwide are already looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and general environmental impact. Making business travel greener is a great step forward.

New trends in how we travel

New types of business trips will emerge to bring people together

Businesses worldwide are giving employees remote working options. Whether that’s going fully remote and “working from anywhere”, or operating on a hybrid model, distributed teams will need (and want) to come together. As we say at TravelPerk, the meetings that matter happen in person. That’s why I predict that a new type of business trip will emerge—one where team members will travel from different working hubs to get together. They’ll fuse teambuilding and brainstorming sessions with meetings with clients and colleagues, and will even turn them into “bleisure” (business and leisure) trips.

COVID-19 documentation will be a requirement for a while

Countries will keep doing everything they can to mitigate the spread of the virus. One of the leading concerns is still the threat of new variants coming in from outside. That’s why governments will keep requiring proof from travelers that they are COVID-free. That could be a “health passport” proving that you’ve been vaccinated (and with which vaccine). It could just be proof of a negative PCR test, and some countries may still require testing upon arrival. Quarantine requirements won’t be universal and will differ depending on where you’re coming from.

Travel corridors between countries will open up

Because countries are administering the vaccines at different speeds, travel corridors between countries where both ends of the trip are COVID-free will open up. Countries like Spain, Greece, and Israel have opened up safe travel corridors allowing vaccinated travelers to enter with no restrictions. I believe that this arrangement is going to stick around for a while until most countries reach high vaccination rates.

Travellers will book closer to their departure date

Before the pandemic, trip searches were usually conducted between 7 and 30 days prior to the selected departure date. What we’re seeing on our platform is that searches for trips less than six days away are now equal to those searches. This could mean that people booking trips prefer to do so closer to their departure date as a way of staying on top of changing travel restrictions. This will continue for the foreseeable future, however as more travel corridors open up and vaccination rates increase worldwide, we anticipate that booking tendencies will go back to normal.

A few final thoughts

If this pandemic has proved one thing it’s that a Zoom call can never fully replace the value of those face-to-face interactions. I, myself, have vowed not to hold any more Zoom meetings until September. One thing’s sure—travel is definitely coming back. And it’s not going to be “new normal” travel. It’s just going to be normal travel.

We’re already seeing that travel is recovering. In the US, for example, domestic leisure travel has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels. Overall travel is sure to make a full comeback because we are, after all, social beings who crave in-person interaction. And that’s exactly what travel, be that for business or pleasure, provides. It offers people the possibility to come together, to create, and to experience. That’s not something that can just go away. Just wait and see.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/06/what-does-the-future-hold-for-business-travel/

Start Ups

Telehealth giant Amwell to acquire Portland healthtech startup Conversa

Published

on

National telehealth provider Amwell said it will acquire Portland, Ore.-based healthtech startup Conversa and SilverCloud Health.

Conversa, founded in 2014, sells platforms tailored to different medical conditions that allow medical teams to communicate with patients remotely. The company raised $8 million at the beginning of this year, after COVID-19 generated increased need for the service.

Conversa also helps medical providers automate text-based conversations and other administrative tasks before, during and after patients check in to medical care.

Amwell said it will use Conversa’s patient profiling and engagement tools to boost client experience and outcomes.

Murray Brozinksy, CEO of Conversa Health, said the deal will help “usher in the hybrid care delivery model of the future.”

Amwell said it paid approximately $320 million in stock and cash to acquire Conversa and SilverCloud, a digital platform that caters to mental healthcare. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the third quarter.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2021/telehealth-giant-amwell-acquire-portland-healthtech-startup-conversa/

Continue Reading

Crunchbase

Egyptian ride-sharing company Swvl plans to go public in a $1.5B SPAC merger

Published

on

Cairo and Dubai-based ride-sharing company Swvl plans to go public in a merger with special purpose acquisition company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, Swvl said Tuesday. The deal will see Swvl valued at roughly $1.5 billion.

Swvl was founded by Mostafa Kandil, Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah in 2017. The trio started the company as a bus-hailing service in Egypt and other ride-sharing services in emerging markets with fragmented public transportation.

Its services, mainly bus-hailing, enables users to make intra-state journeys by booking seats on buses running a fixed route. This is pocket-friendly for residents in these markets compared to single-rider options and helps reduce emissions (Swvl claims it has prevented over 240 million pounds of carbon emission since inception).

After its Egypt launch, Swvl expanded to Kenya, Pakistan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The company also moved its headquarters to Dubai as part of its strategy to become a global company.

Swvl offerings have expanded beyond bus-hailing services. Now, the company offers inter-city rides, car ride-sharing, and corporate services across the 10 cities it operates in across Africa and the Middle East.

Queen’s Gambit, the women-led SPAC in charge of the deal, raised $300 million in January and added $45 million via an underwriters’ overallotment option focusing on startups in clean energy, healthcare and mobility sectors.

The statement also mentions a group of investors — Agility, Luxor Capital and Zain Group — which will contribute $100 million through a private investment in public equity, or PIPE.

Per Crunchbase, Swvl has raised over $170 million. From an African perspective, Swvl features as one of the most venture-backed startups on the continent. The company has been touted to reach unicorn status in the past and will when this SPAC merger is completed.

The company will aptly trade under the ticker SWVL. The listing will make it the first Egyptian startup to go public outside Egypt and the second to go public after Fawry. It will also make the mobility company the largest African unicorn debut on any U.S.-listed exchange, beating Jumia’s debut of $1.1 billion on the NYSE. Swvl joins music-streaming platform Anghami as the second startup in the region to go public via a SPAC merger in the Middle East.

Swvl had annual gross revenue of $26 million in 2020, according to the statement, and the company expects its annual gross revenue to increase to $79 million this year and $1 billion by 2025 after expanding to 20 countries across five continents.

On why Queen’s Gambit picked Swvl for this deal, Victoria Grace, founder and CEO, said in a statement that the company fit the profile of what she was looking for: “a disruptive platform that solves complex challenges and empowers underserved populations.”

“Having established a leadership position in key emerging markets, we believe Swvl is ready to capitalize on a truly global market opportunity,” she added.

In May, TechCrunch wrote that SPACs didn’t target African startups for several reasons, including a lack of global appeal and private capital and market satisfaction. Judging by Grace’s comments, Swvl has that global appeal and is ready to venture into the public market despite being in operation for just four years.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/egyptian-ride-sharing-company-swvl-plans-to-go-public-in-a-1-5b-spac-merger/

Continue Reading

Crunchbase

Egyptian ride-sharing company Swvl plans to go public in a $1.5B SPAC merger

Published

on

Cairo and Dubai-based ride-sharing company Swvl plans to go public in a merger with special purpose acquisition company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, Swvl said Tuesday. The deal will see Swvl valued at roughly $1.5 billion.

Swvl was founded by Mostafa Kandil, Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah in 2017. The trio started the company as a bus-hailing service in Egypt and other ride-sharing services in emerging markets with fragmented public transportation.

Its services, mainly bus-hailing, enables users to make intra-state journeys by booking seats on buses running a fixed route. This is pocket-friendly for residents in these markets compared to single-rider options and helps reduce emissions (Swvl claims it has prevented over 240 million pounds of carbon emission since inception).

After its Egypt launch, Swvl expanded to Kenya, Pakistan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The company also moved its headquarters to Dubai as part of its strategy to become a global company.

Swvl offerings have expanded beyond bus-hailing services. Now, the company offers inter-city rides, car ride-sharing, and corporate services across the 10 cities it operates in across Africa and the Middle East.

Queen’s Gambit, the women-led SPAC in charge of the deal, raised $300 million in January and added $45 million via an underwriters’ overallotment option focusing on startups in clean energy, healthcare and mobility sectors.

The statement also mentions a group of investors — Agility, Luxor Capital and Zain Group — which will contribute $100 million through a private investment in public equity, or PIPE.

Per Crunchbase, Swvl has raised over $170 million. From an African perspective, Swvl features as one of the most venture-backed startups on the continent. The company has been touted to reach unicorn status in the past and will when this SPAC merger is completed.

The company will aptly trade under the ticker SWVL. The listing will make it the first Egyptian startup to go public outside Egypt and the second to go public after Fawry. It will also make the mobility company the largest African unicorn debut on any U.S.-listed exchange, beating Jumia’s debut of $1.1 billion on the NYSE. Swvl joins music-streaming platform Anghami as the second startup in the region to go public via a SPAC merger in the Middle East.

Swvl had annual gross revenue of $26 million in 2020, according to the statement, and the company expects its annual gross revenue to increase to $79 million this year and $1 billion by 2025 after expanding to 20 countries across five continents.

On why Queen’s Gambit picked Swvl for this deal, Victoria Grace, founder and CEO, said in a statement that the company fit the profile of what she was looking for: “a disruptive platform that solves complex challenges and empowers underserved populations.”

“Having established a leadership position in key emerging markets, we believe Swvl is ready to capitalize on a truly global market opportunity,” she added.

In May, TechCrunch wrote that SPACs didn’t target African startups for several reasons, including a lack of global appeal and private capital and market satisfaction. Judging by Grace’s comments, Swvl has that global appeal and is ready to venture into the public market despite being in operation for just four years.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/28/egyptian-ride-sharing-company-swvl-plans-to-go-public-in-a-1-5b-spac-merger/

Continue Reading

Start Ups

Microsoft acquires Seattle startup Suplari, which uses AI to analyze corporate spending

Published

on

Suplari co-founders Jeff Gerber, Brian White, and Nikesh Parekh. (Suplari Photo)

Microsoft has acquired Suplari, a Seattle startup that uses artificial intelligence to help companies understand and get a handle on their spending.

Founded in 2016, Suplari analyzes procurement and spending data flowing into various enterprise systems. It can provide recommendations for cost savings, risk exposure, and other efficiency gaps. The software serves as an alternative to compiling data in an app such as Excel or Tableau and having a team of analysts comb through the information themselves. Suplari manages more than $180 billion in spend across millions of transactions per month.

Microsoft said it will pair Suplari with Microsoft Dynamics 365 “to help customers maximize financial visibility by using AI to automate the analysis of current data and historical patterns from multiple data sources.”

“Today’s announcement also signals our continued commitment to enabling organizations to move beyond transactional financial management to proactive operations that enhance decision making, mitigate risks, and reduce supplier costs through our data-first approach,” Microsoft vice president Frank Weigel wrote in a blog post.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Suplari said its “Suplari Spend Intelligence Cloud” will continue to remain available for existing customers.

Suplari is among a bevy of startups using artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate manual processes involving tons of data, and provide recommendations based on the computer-aided number crunching. There are several companies in Seattle applying similar technology in various industries, such as AttunelyLexionSigma IQ, and others.

Suplari had raised $18 million to date, according to PitchBook. Investors include Amplify Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Shasta Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, and Workday Ventures.

The company was co-founded by Jeff Gerber, Brian White, and Nikesh Parekh, Suplari’s CEO.

Parekh is a real estate technology veteran who previously held leadership positions at Market Leader and Trulia. Gerber is a long-time engineering leader who co-founded startups including iConclude (acquired by Opsware and later by HP) and helped lead Apptio’s machine learning and intelligent app development. White worked with Gerber at iConclude as an early employee and did stints at Amazon Web Services and Skytap.

Parekh said Microsoft and Suplari have had partnership discussions over the past several years.

“Given Microsoft’s AI, cloud and data investments, customers can expect that Suplari will continue to deliver more AI-driven, predictive & prescriptive insights and integrated workflows for finance, procurement, & supply chain teams,” he wrote in a blog post.

The deal is the latest in a string of IPOs, fundings, and acquisitions across the Seattle startup ecosystem. Earlier this week Seattle startup Algorithmia was acquired by DataRobot.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2021/microsoft-acquires-seattle-startup-suplari-uses-ai-analyze-corporate-spending/

Continue Reading
AR/VR1 day ago

Review: Winds & Leaves

watch-live-russias-pirs-module-set-to-depart-space-station-today.jpg
Aerospace4 days ago

Watch live: Russia’s Pirs module set to depart space station today

Esports5 days ago

Genshin Impact Sacred Sakura Cleansing Ritual Quest Guide

Esports5 days ago

Best bot lane Pokémon on Pokémon UNITE

Esports4 days ago

League of Legends Wild Rift Patch 2.4 Release Date

Energy4 days ago

NexGen Announces Commencement of 2021 Field and Regional Exploration Drilling Programs at the Rook I Property

Blockchain5 days ago

Ethereum 2.0 Exceeds 200K Validators, Has 6.6 Million ETH in Staking

Aviation5 days ago

RAAF Globemaster ‘weaving between’ Brisbane skyscrapers goes viral

Crowdfunding5 days ago

Digital Asset Firm Kraken Releases Report on Benefits of Centralized Finance Platforms Amid DeFi Boom

Energy4 days ago

Nowa umowa partnerska Shanghai Electric zawarta podczas WAIC 2021 doprowadzi do rozwoju i przemiany wielu branż dzięki transformacji cyfrowej

Blockchain4 days ago

Ethereum Inventor Debuts As An Actor? Joins Mila Kunis In NFT-Based Show

Esports4 days ago

TFT Set 5.5 11.15 B-patch nerfs Hecarim, Lucian, and Irelia

Crowdfunding5 days ago

Tezos (XTZ) Trading Support Added by Digital Asset Firm Gemini, but Not Yet Offering Custody for Tez

Fintech4 days ago

Finding the right balance with hybrid client experiences

Energy4 days ago

Specialty Tapes Market worth $67.2 Billion by 2026 – Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets™

Esports3 days ago

Legends of Runeterra adding new Lab of Legends mode: The Saltwater Scourge

Energy4 days ago

SOL: Sasol Limited – Production And Sales Metrics And Financial Results For The Year Ended 30 June 2021

Fintech5 days ago

Aurion Biotech Announces IOTA Cell Therapy Trial

Blockchain4 days ago

HNT Technical Analysis: Price Above the Fibonacci Pivot Point of $12.05, May Soon Surpass the Resistance Level of $12.45

Energy4 days ago

Novo acordo de parceria da Shanghai Electric na WAIC 2021 é criado com a finalidade de atualizar e transformar os setores com Empoderamento Digital

Trending