Flight Centre Travel Group will own a 25% interest in Upside
Travel, making it the largest individual shareholder in the corporate travel
company launched in 2017 by Priceline founder Jay Walker.
The investment will give Flight Centre access to Upside's
technology platform and software development resources, Flight Centre said.
Upside and Flight Centre have also entered a deal "that covers cooperation
on various distribution initiatives," using Flight Centre's knowledge of
corporate travel and Upside's technology.
Flight Centre expects to improve its technology in the small
and midsize corporate market specifically. The deal will bolster Upside's
product offering to those customers, and Upside will additionally benefit from
Flight Centre's relationships with suppliers and global reach.
"We have been impressed by the capability and
flexibility of Upside's technology and team to improve the business traveler
experience," Dean Smith, president of Flight Centre's Americas operation,
said in a statement. "Its use of machine learning models to dynamically
price business travel packages in real time to save clients money while
increasing traveler options is just one example of Upside's best-in-class