Just two weeks after Amsterdam-based TravelBird officially declared insolvent on its assets to acquire them, the Finance you Dagblad reports. UK-based Secret Escapes, a travel booking platform that rivals a luxury approach, has made the biggest offering “by far,” according to bankruptcy curator Jan Padberg. The British company will receive the intellectual property, the IT platform, the Travelbird brand, the logos and the customer base.
The report also reveals that Secret Escapes and Travelbird had been talking about a takeover deal for a few months, but the British company abruptly pulled out of negotiations just before filing for insolvency. This could be explained by Secret Escapes looking at the Travelbird books and seeing what is coming; It’s easy to guess that the buyer ended up getting a much better deal now than could be discussed in October.
An anonymous Travelbird developer told the FD that two of the most important assets Secret Escapes would likely pursue are the huge database of customers and suppliers around the world and the startup’s “dynamic packaging” technology. The latter allowed Travelbird customers to book not only travel and accommodation, but also things like car rentals and tours as part of a package, significantly streamlining and speeding up the booking process.
The team of some 300 people who previously worked at Travelbird were not part of the deal with Secret Escapes, however, it seems that they are already attracting a lot of interest from recruiters in Amsterdam, hungry for talent. Padberg mentioned the FD that team members are being approached and removed “aggressively” and that there is “no need” to protect their jobs in this case.
Padberg expects Secret Escapes to bring Travelbird’s website and operations back online in the coming weeks, making this change one of the fastest relaunches of his career.
Secret Escapes, founded in the UK in 2010, the same year as TravelBird, works in more than 20 countries, including the Netherlands, and employs around 480 people. The company has raised more than £ 200 million in financing, including the last capital injection of £ 52 million in July.
Image Credit: Officelovin.