Why PROS Acquired Travelaer

by 
David Kaplan
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
 • 
3
 min read

The $12 million deal extends PROS’ Travel portfolio with Travelaer’s booking engine and NDC platform and promises PROS’ clients an “integrated experience for airlines to further enhance their retailing capabilities, enabling airlines to connect the digital retail experience to their journey to offer optimization.”

PROS’ $12 million acquisition of French e-commerce platform Travelaer represents a significant step for the airline revenue management software company’s ambitions to strengthen its digital merchandising offerings.

Specifically, Houston, Tx-based PROS’ vertical integration capabilities comes into sharper focus as six-year-old Travelaer brings its internet booking engine and New Distribution Capability (NDC) into its new parent’s product portfolio.

PROS and Travelaer have been actively working together as partners for some time and have integrated product capabilities, a PROS spokesperson told Kambr Media.

“We’ve actively worked through sales cycles and joint engagements,” the company’s representative said. “As a result, we have mutual customers that are getting benefit from the combination of our products, and we want to further accelerate the creation of solutions to deliver value to them.” 

Ultimately, Travelaer’s products complement and extend PROS Travel portfolio, the company stated, adding, “With this addition to the PROS Airline portfolio, PROS enables airlines to enhance their retailing experience - to create, distribute and fulfill personalized offers while maintaining the ability to scale the business across channels, driving incremental revenue through AI-based technology.”

An Integrated Solution For Airlines – And PROS

In terms of Travelaer’s appeal as an acquisition target, PROS’ described the company as “a digital innovator known for its singular focus on the digital selling experience for the travel industry.”

Consistent with PROS vision of powering commerce in the digital era, Travelaer furthers the company’s  ability and capacity to “truly transform every aspect of the travel customer experience within the intensely competitive airline industry.”

With this acquisition, PROS said it can now offer “a complete, integrated experience for airlines to further enhance their retailing capabilities, enabling airlines to connect the digital retail experience to their journey to offer optimization.”

In large part, the deal was driven by changes and competitive challenges within the airline industry – specifically, the need for innovative digital retailing technology.

“There is a fundamental shift within airlines, traditionally fragmented organizations, to ones that focus on the customer experience to drive digital transformation,” PROS said. There are also other key shifts in the travel marketplace that are driving the need for better retail. For one thing, passenger growth is expected to double in the next 20 years, PROS noted, citing IATA data. That alone demands greater focus on airlines to drive conversion of travelers shopping for their next trip.

“Much of that is dictated directly by the customer’s experience on an airline’s website and mobile app to inspire, shop, and book travel,” PROS noted. “As more travelers begin to shop for travel directly on an airline’s channels (as opposed to third-party channels like Online Travel Agencies), their ability to search, price, and book a trip that is personalized to their needs, wants, and tastes is key to winning them over.”

Why Purchase Instead Of Continuing To Partner

PROS said its long-term strategy in the travel industry in general is to "enable airlines to create revenue optimal and personalized offers with a digital-first retail experience. With this strategy, we need technology that builds upon and integrates the different components of offer optimization."

That strategy dictates that PROS needs technology that builds upon and integrates the different components of offer optimization.

"The technology offered by Travelaer, coupled with PROS best-in-class Shopping and Merchandising, are critical for airlines to transform the overall retail experience for their customers," PROS told us. "We did have a partnership with Travelaer and while continuing to partner was an option, we believe the technology offered by Travelaer coupled with PROS best-in-class Shopping and Merchandising are critical for airlines to transform the overall retail experience for their customers."

By combining our two organizations, PROS believes it can more easily accelerate its ability to deliver airlines “flexible, configurable retail capabilities yielding an optimal customer experience every time.”

"As a result, we felt it was important to have it as part of our portfolio versus as a partnership. By combining our two organizations, we accelerate our ability to deliver airlines flexible, configurable retail capabilities yielding an optimal customer experience every time. Our combined solution set will deliver a complete, integrated experience for airlines to ensure they can connect the digital retail experience to their journey to offer optimization," PROS added.

As for next steps, Travelaer’s people and services will be integrated into the PROS global structure.

While PROS didn’t say if it has any other imminent acquisition plans, the company did offer a glimpse of what influences its M&A strategy.

“Our vision is to deliver a technology platform that enables companies to transform how they sell in the digital economy,” PROS said. “As a result, we are motivated to acquire technology that enables PROS to more fully realize this vision, helping to accelerate how companies can more deeply engage with their customers and deliver a great customer experience at each step of journey.”