Technology

Serko expands agreement with Booking.com, as Booking Holdings gets behind capital raise

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Corporate online travel booking and expense management player Serko Limited has signed commitments with Booking.com to expand their existing agreement.

With the expanded agreement, Booking.com can now offer and promote Serko Zeno to its business traveller customers and enable the integration of new Booking.com content onto Zeno, Serko’s next-generation travel management application.

In addition, Booking Holdings is investing NZ$17.5 million ($16.4 million) in Serko as part of a NZ$45 million ($42.1 million) capital raising the company launched on Thursday to accelerate Serko’s global rollout of Zeno – in particular, Europe and the US.

Funds raised will also be used to develop expanded content offerings for Serko’s global TMC reseller community, as well as deliver and support expected growth in Serko’s customer base, and support projected expansion arising from the Booking.com agreement.

Serko CEO Darrin Grafton (pictured above, left) said: “Partnering with Booking.com introduces additional content to advance our aspiration of achieving the ‘Unified Traveller Experience’ which will deliver simplicity and compliance to corporate travellers, while making our resellers more profitable.

“The Serko and Booking.com agreement will accelerate our journey toward our vision of seamless corporate travel and expanding outside of Australasia.”

Ripsy Bandourian, vice president of partnerships at Booking.com, said: “We are excited to be expanding our agreement with Serko, as our vision about making business travel frictionless for both travellers and travel managers alike is very much aligned with Serko’s.

“We’re looking forward to working together in bringing this solution to customers and partners outside of Australasia.”

Both announcements coincided with Serko’s half-yearly results, which revealed a net loss before tax of NZ$0.8 million ($0.75 million) for the six months to 30 September 2019 – down from a net profit of NZ$1 million ($0.9 million) during the prior corresponding period.

Total operating revenue rose 29 per cent to NZ$14.7 million ($13.8 million, total income increased 29 per cent to NZ$11.8 million and travel booking transaction volume grew 4.5 per cent to 2.2 million.

Serko’s half-yearly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation and fair value remeasurement of contingent consideration fell 6.6 per cent to NZ$1.4 million ($1.3 million).

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