Acquisitions and lessons learned ūü•ä

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Let’s dive into this week’s top news covering industry trends, startups, and innovations:

  • A hospitality game-changer in the Balkans.¬†In the tech world, a revolution can be just a scan away. This is certainly the case for¬†TouchMenu, a startup shaping the digital transformation of the hospitality industry. Recently, the company ensured the acceleration of its international expansion with an investment of ‚ā¨370k. More than the story of a Bulgarian startup making waves on the international scene, this is also a broader narrative about the role of tech in the future of hospitality and travel.¬†
  • Lessons learned from a founding adventure.¬†Over the past few days, I’ve been immersed in reviewing over 220 applications for the pitch competition, and it‚Äôs impossible not to think of the motto “sometimes you win, sometimes you learn” – especially for founders starting new ventures. This feeling strongly connects with a recent post on PhocusWire. Nico Barawid, the founder of¬†Casai¬†shared four valuable lessons from their experience of creating and, eventually, not succeeding with the popular Latin American short-term rental startup. Casai’s closure comes as a reminder of the challenges startups face.
  • Global Connectivity Solution.¬†Digital SIM marketplace¬†Airalo¬†has secured $60 million in Series B funding. Founded in 2019, Airalo plans to use the investment to launch a new product called Airalo Partners, a connectivity service for businesses and organizations. The co-founders expressed their commitment to providing affordable and accessible connectivity worldwide, while investors anticipate Airalo becoming a travel essential.
  • 3 acquisitions, 3 new opportunities.¬†The Indian¬†¬†is set to acquire a 51% stake in three prominent travel companies, solidifying its position in the industry and allowing it to offer a diverse range of travel experiences. The acquired companies excel in various areas, including international group tours, travel technology solutions, and integrated travel management. With these acquisitions, EaseMyTrip aims to extend exceptional services to larger markets, igniting wanderlust and delivering memorable adventures to travelers.
  • When Integrations Boost Bookings.¬†Cloudbeds¬†has announced its seamless integration with¬†Vrbo. Now, lodging businesses can efficiently manage all aspects of their Vrbo listings through Cloudbeds’ platform, providing a smoother user experience. By connecting with Vrbo’s vast base of travelers seeking family-oriented and leisure experiences, Cloudbeds empowers its customers to maximize bookings and expand their reach in different markets.
  • Powering air travel insights.¬†The global travel industry data provider¬†OAG¬†has acquired¬†Infare¬†to create an end-to-end data platform for air travel intelligence worldwide. The collaboration enhances airline partners’ access to high-quality data and innovative solutions. By combining OAG’s data with Infare’s airfare data, customers gain insights into supply, demand, and revenue growth. This deal is set to strengthen OAG’s ability to deliver accurate information across the travel value chain, fostering innovation and growth for customers.
  • Cheers to an Unexpected Collaboration.¬†In a nice twist,¬†Korean Air¬†has teamed up with the award-winning Korean brewery to unveil its exclusive craft beer. This unexpected partnership with¬†Playground Brewery¬†brings a unique fusion of tropical fruit aromas and a refreshing taste, promising an enjoyable in-flight drinking experience for passengers. At Korean Air’s lounges and later onboard, ‚ÄúKAL’s Lager‚ÄĚ will also be exclusively available at Emart24 convenience stores and its mobile app.