News & Analysis

Melbourne travel startup Locomote set to expand to the UK

- September 22, 2016 2 MIN READ

Melbourne corporate travel and expense platform Locomote has today announced a new name along with its intent to head overseas, changing its name to Travelport Locomote as it gears up to expand into the United Kingdom.

It comes after billion dollar Travelport’s acquisition of a majority stake in the startup late last year; it had originally bought a 49 percent stake in the company in 2014, upping it to 55 percent last year. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Travelport provides solutions covering distribution, technology, and payments to the travel industry.

The investment into Locomote was made to help Travelport strengthen its offering in the digital space. As such, Travelport Locomote has now become part of its recently launched dedicated digital organisation, Travelport Digital.

Travelport Digital has been established with the aim of optimising the investments Travelport has made into various digital products and businesses over the last few years, such as its investment into Locomote and acquisition of Mobile Travel Technologies, a provider of mobile solutions for the travel industry.

Stephen Shurrock, chief commercial officer of Travelport, said, “Travelport Digital will play an important role as we look to develop a comprehensive range of digital products and services with today’s ever-connected, mobile-savvy customers in mind.”

Sandra McLeod, appointed CEO of Travelport Locomote in January, said that on the startup’s part, the new name and positioning represents the strength of the its relationship with Travelport.

“Our focus remains unchanged. We will continue to deliver the very best solution for corporations and their employees, delivering experiences that redefine corporate travel,” she said.

The startup’s expansion into the UK will be led by Vicki Mills as Director of Sales and Support UK. Mills has experience in both the leisure and corporate travel industries.

The startup has gone from strength to strength since its founding in 2014, onboarding clients including ANZ, Medibank, and World Vision to manage the corporate travel of hundreds of thousands of employees. It allows these employees to organise every aspect of their work travel, from requests and authorisations, bookings, budget, duty of care, and expenses.

The startup aims to make corporate travel personal, and provides users with a wide range of apps and approval options to customise work flows and streamline end-to-end travel processes.

Travelport Locomote had also formed a strategic partnership with Allianz Global Assistance earlier this year, which saw its platform integrated with Allianz’s travel insurance services to provide corporate travellers with protection while on the road.

While excited about the UK launch, McLeod said the startup will also keep a focus on expanding its footprint in the Australian market, as well as further developing its product.

Image: Sandra McLeod. Source: Supplied.