Davinci Travel System (Davinci TS), an online B2B platform for booking and managing group hotel reservations, is rapidly gaining traction internationally. In just two years, the Prague-based start-up has exceeded the benchmark of 5,000 partner group hotels in 900+ European cities and over 70+ tour operators. The company’s main goal is to become number one in the global B2B group travel market, which will be supported by a bridge investment from UK VC fund Seedcamp.
Founded in 2017 by 24-year old Czech entrepreneur Alex Ilyash, Davinci TS was recently invested by famous venture capital UK investors Seedcamp. The investment will be used to grow the international team in Prague with new talents, who will help to scale the product worldwide.
“Cooperation with Seedcamp will open doors for us on the British market and provide an opportunity to use a vast network of their contacts and know-how. We will use the money mainly for the expansion of our team in Prague, where we are looking not only for programmers but also senior people with experience from the travel industry,” Alex Ilaysh notes.
Raising efficiency with automation
Davinci TS platform matches tour operators searching for accommodation for groups with hotels seeking to increase occupancy. Estimates have shown that tour groups form a significant sector, approximately 20 % of worldwide hotel bookings. But the reservation process, still usually carried out by hotels and travel agents, can often be inefficient and even drag out for several weeks.
Davinci TS is innovating this old system and is helping raise efficiency levels. The team works in an Agile way and is adjusting developing product according to the need of the market, thus eliminating e-mail and phone calls as preferred booking methods.
Crucially, their innovation saves time, removes human errors, and ultimately boosts the number of successful bookings. According to the company’s own data, online automation can slash process costs by approximately 30 %. As well as revolutionizing processes, Ilyash is thinking big.
“We are bringing the group booking industry into the 21st century and our goal is to become number one in B2B global market. We now have 5,000 partner hotels now in Europe, in every country, and we plan to have 20,000 by the end of next year. On the other side we work with 70 travel agencies from all over the world, including, China, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, and the UK,” the CEO explains.
Focused on matching the best suitable hotels with tour operators
He also stresses that Davinci TS is not just about volume. “We’re focused not on quantity, but quality. Lots of tour operators are signing up with Davinci. But we’re doing our due diligence on them to check how many tours they’re organizing, and how trustworthy they are. Our main focus is to match the best suitable hotel with tour operator requests automatically and not to do the mass mailing. Our current conversion is getting near 40-50%. Using the platform is free for both sides – hotels and tour companies. Only when a reservation is successfully completed, a transaction fee applies. When using Davinci TS platform, hotels can easily adjust their price offer for each request from tour operators all over the world.”
The Davinci TS approach is also bringing innovations and huge benefits for hotels by easily connecting them with new group booking partners. “Typically, the hotel is used to work with a limited number of travel companies and mostly can’t put much effort into actively seeking new partners,” explains Michal Drahoš, newly appointed Head of Hotel Partnership at Davinci TS and previously at Booking.com.
“Davinci TS matches hotels with travel companies worldwide, thus helping them to have new partners and to increase revenue from different countries,” he notes. His appointment reflects the considerable success of the Davinci TS business approach.
The company recently recruited two other senior managers from other big name travel companies. Like Drahoš, Gaukhar Alibayeva, who has become Head of Strategy at DTS, worked at Booking.com. Another new member of the team, Petr Hrabálek, previously worked at the Amadeus IT group and has been appointed as Head of Sales at Davinci TS.