Volantio, the travel tech startup that allows airlines and their customers to optimize booking, has secured an investment and a strategic partnership with Amadeus, a travel IT giant that works with over 120 carriers around the world.
Amadeus Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the company, will provide the undisclosed investment. Volantio’s last formal funding round was a $2.6 million Series B in 2018, in which aviation leaders International Airlines Group (IAG), JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Australia’s Qantas Ventures all participated.
This investment comes after Volantio recently won the Amadeus Accenture Alliance Air Pitch, focused on startups innovating in aviation.
Along with the investment, Volantio and Amadeus have indicated a formal technology partnership which will provide the company’s global clients access to Volantio’s booking optimization platform, Yana.
Yana solves a problem that is technologically complicated, but immediately understood by any frequent flyer. To maximize revenue, airlines often overbook flights. But a customer often doesn’t find out the flight is overbooked until they arrive at their gate.
Yana uses machine learning to fix that entire system. It proactively identifies the flexible travelers, often days ahead of their flight, and offers them rewards such as additional miles or upgrades if they switch their flight to a lower-demand time.
The platform automatically rebooks passengers who agree to move and notifies them by text message.
“We’re always looking for ways to help our airline partners succeed by providing better travel experiences to passengers, and strongly believe in the transformational potential of Volantio’s technology,” Suzanna Chiu, Head of Amadeus Ventures, said in a statement.
Airlines could be losing $80- $90 billion in lost revenue annually by flying with empty seats, estimates Volantio co-founder and CEO Azim Barodawala. He formerly served as Head of Strategy for Jetstar Airways, owned by Qantas.
Founded in 2015, Volantio now counts seven airlines as customers, including Qantas, Spain’s Iberia, Emirates, and Alaska Airlines. So far, they claim that clients have seen an average of 3-5 times return on their investment.
Amadeus offers airlines a bevy of IT services across pricing, booking, ticketing, reservations, inventory management and more. The company will now help facilitate the process for airlines to integrate Volantio’s Yana platform.
“It typically takes months for airlines to integrate with us,” Barodawala tells Hypepotamus. “We think this will ensure that is substantially reduced.”
Since the Series B announcement early last year, Volantio has more than doubled to 20 employees. They’re continuing to grow in their downtown Atlanta office and are focusing on increasing their client pipeline.