Lufthansa Group launches Yilu: a smart B2B platform for travel and mobility services

Over the past decade, technology has transformed almost all aspects of the travel industry, most notably mobility and hospitality. The impact has been profound for industry giants and travellers alike. But, is it now time has come to revolutionise the complete journey – from the point-of-origin to the final destination – and to deliver an enjoyable, stress-free experience.


Summary:

  • Yilu, founded by the Lufthansa Group and Lufthansa Innovation Hub, is developing an intelligent end-to-end travel platform;
  • The aim is to consolidate the fragmented landscape of travel and mobility providers into one smart platform;
  • With Yilu, travel companies can offer new additional product recommendations to their end customers.

That is the approach being adopted by Berlin-based startup Yilu, which has been working on a platform for travel providers since July this year. Its approach is to build an end-to-end travel platform powered by a smart logic layer that serves automated, contextual and personalised recommendations to the traveller throughout the journey.

Since August this year, Eurowings customers have been able to book mytaxi rides to and from the airport through the app of the airline. The taxi pickup time is automatically determined from the flight information and has been made possible through Yilu.

The integration of mytaxi in the app of Eurowings is only the first partnership that the young startup has enabled – its vision is much bigger. The goal of the startup, which was founded by the Lufthansa Group and the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, is to consolidate onto one platform the travel and mobility services currently being offered by a large variety of providers.

The platform will allow a variety of partners such as hotels, airlines and other travel companies to access this travel and mobility offering and easily display it on their apps and websites. The smart interlinking of various travel services from different companies can give travellers a much more seamless experience in the future.

Dr. Christian Langer, Vice President Digital Strategy at Lufthansa Group explains the strategic goal behind Yilu: “With Yilu, we are for the first time founding a startup that targets the entire fragmented landscape of travel and mobility providers and tries to consolidate it with technology. The aim is to smartly link-up all services in order to improve the travel experience – even beyond flying”.

Besides further expanding the network of partners, the 25-strong team at Yilu is currently working on the technological development of the platform. Its intelligent recommendations logic is being trained to display personalised and highly contextualised partner offerings that are relevant to the end consumers.

The user flows that Yilu provides for the integration of different services are tailored to minimise the development and maintenance effort on the part of the partner companies. This gives them the opportunity to quickly and easily enhance their own offers and open up new sources of income.

“At Yilu are currently concentrating on the technological groundwork. We are working on the core, namely the platform technology, integrated user-flows, and expansion of the partner network. The next step is to add a recommendations engine. This is a long-term undertaking. Yet the first results show that we are on the right path”, explains Mark Meusch, CEO, Yilu.

The first partnership with mytaxi will be followed by more co-operations with noteworthy travel partners during the course of this year. The Yilu team has 25 people from 15 nationalities and plans to double in size before the summer of 2019.