ATPI’s new ‘Endeavour’ aims to invest in a handful of disruptive technology travel startups over the next two years

Travel and events management business, the ATPI Group has launched a new technology-focused investment strategy to offer both financial backing and market knowledge to technology start-ups that are disrupting and driving the sector. The Endeavour programme will build on its existing proprietary capabilities in technology and be structured as a series of individual investment and development projects.

As part of its ongoing commitment to a partnership-based approach to customer service, ATPI is focusing both its investment and growth strategy on companies that share a passion for innovation and drive for new solutions. The priority of this new strategic focus, it says, is companies that have the “capability and agility to build and grow their software” to meet the changing needs of customers.

“These are value creators that can work to move the landscapes of both content and platforms for the buyer and the traveller forward,” it explains.

The development of this new strategy comes in direct response to changing trends in corporate travel and booking behaviours. The next wave of innovation, increasingly fragmented online content and growing adoption of self-fulfilment are all driving the demand for new technology.

ATPI offers bespoke technology solutions to its clients and as part of this strategy the company says it will work to further improve the services it provides via the most comprehensive suite of technology available on the market. Using new technologies, it believes, will enable it to respond to changing traveller behaviour.

The first collaboration is with corporate travel start-up taptrip which is already making in-roads in changing the online booking experience. ATPI’s investment in taptrip is described as “significant” and earning ATPI a seat on the start-up’s board. The two partners initially collaborate through Project Edge at the early stage investment, as part of this strategy. Further partnerships and investments are expected to follow in the coming months.

The taptrip partnership will roll out in the UK from Mar-2020, with Benelux, France, India and Asia set to follow later in the year. It will aim to redefine customer experience and travel cost efficiency in the SME space of the corporate travel industry and bring a compelling new solution to the corporate travel market.

Under the agreement, ATPI’s UK customers will have full access to taptrip’s next-gen online booking tool. The TMC will also act as the fulfilment partner for all travel bookings made via the taptrip platform, driving a significant travel volume into the high-growth start-up.

“92% of the SME market is under-represented and serviced poorly when it comes to travel management,” says Neil Ruth, COO, taptrip. “SMEs rarely understand or know what a travel policy is or that one can save them time and money as well as increase customer satisfaction and employee acquisition and retention.”

As a result, Mr Ruth identifies that business travel management offers an “unrivalled opportunity for savings, efficiency and productivity improvements”.

ATPI has a long-standing history of investment in innovative technology which we have achieved either from a proprietary position or as a strategic partner. “As part of this new strategy we are keen to build on this by investing in technology that focuses on the next stage of the innovation cycle, the individualised customer experience,” explains Ali Hussain, chief innovation and technology officer, ATPI.

Mr Hussien says the Endeavour programme keeps a watching brief for “true disruptors in this space that show promise of scale for us and our clients” and this is a key factor when deciding which companies will be part of this new strategy. “Our approach and investments will enable us to further build our customer offer through new integrations and tailored solutions which will lead the market,” he adds.

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