Berlin-based Business Travel Startup Comtravo Acquires Lufthansa City Center Franchise Company BTO24

Article

Berlin-based Business Travel Startup Comtravo Acquires Lufthansa City Center Franchise Company BTO24

Juliane Neumann

Berlin, April 29, 2020

The Berlin-based business travel scale-up Comtravo acquires BTO24. BTO24 is an independent business travel agency with offices in Hamburg and Berlin and is a franchisee of Lufthansa City Center. With the merger, Comtravo emphasizes its growth ambitions and positions itself as a business travel solution for the SME sector.

Going digital together

Comtravo’s digital business model ensures that previously complicated booking processes are simple and smooth. Costs are reduced by making use of artificial intelligence and automation. These savings are passed on to customers, which results in low booking fees for them. These benefits are what convinced lona Paschke-Yuvanc, CEO of BTO24: “We are certain that Comtravo’s technology offers new dimensions to our long-time customers for their business travel management. The cost transparency, in particular, as well as simpler booking and accounting processes, convinced us to merge with Comtravo. We are thrilled to contribute to the innovation push with such a dynamic team.” The two BTO24 offices in Berlin and Hamburg will remain open. This is possible because Comtravo’s entire solution is cloud-based and can, therefore, be used regardless of time and team.

Developing new distribution channels for growth

In the past 12 months alone, Comtravo managed to grow by 300% and expand its customer base to over 1000 companies. By acquiring BTO24, Comtravo boosts its previous growth by developing new distribution channels. “Local agencies in particular –like BTO24– are currently facing the challenge of making booking processes more efficient to withstand the cost pressure of digital competitors. This makes investments in technology that require sufficient capital necessary in the long run”, says Michael Riegel, CEO Comtravo. A merger with digital competitors is considered a useful and very sustainable alternative in several industries because many small businesses do not have the necessary funds.

“The broader industry is facing a difficult period currently with more and more customers switching from traditional offline channels towards online/digital channels, expecting seamless and timely processes. In our industry in particular, it is indeed critical to put the customer service at the center of focus, offering customers the most advanced and user-friendly technology, while keeping the pricing competitive. As a consequence, it is very likely that we are going to see consolidation in the market. The winners of this consolidation trend will be those who are able to combine the strength of world-class technology with world-class industry knowledge and customer service,” says Joop Drechsel, former CEO of BCD Travel and board member at Comtravo.

Strong focus on SMEs

Comtravo’s customers include well-known companies from the SME sector, e.g., TLG, Thomas Henry, or the Nagel Group. BTO24 was also founded as a business travel solution for SMEs in 2000 and managed to gain experience and expertise in the industry in the past 20 years. Among the customers of BTO24 are, for example, Wall, Pentax, or Steinway & Sons.

By acquiring BTO24, Comtravo can continue to pursue its goal of becoming the leading business travel solution for SMEs. BTO24’s service portfolio includes special rates for flights or personal 24/7 support. Those are services that cater to the growing needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Comtravo will benefit from these years of experience in the future.

About Comtravo

Comtravo is a booking platform for business travel. By using technologies like natural language processing and speech recognition, Comtravo simplifies the booking of business trips. Comtravo was founded by Michael Riegel, Jannik Wässa, Marko Schilde, and an experienced team of the travel and internet industry in 2015. Comtravo now has 110 employees. More than 900 medium-sized businesses in the DACH region use Comtravo.

Article content

Going digital together

Developing new distribution channels for growth

Strong focus on SMEs

About Comtravo

S U B S C R I B E
N O W