Why is a GDS launching an investment fund for travel startups?

The recent company to join the venture capital industry is none other than the GDS giant Amadeus.

Today, Amadeus has officially announced its foray into (early stage) investing in travel startups that have technology as a backbone.

The main objective of Amadeus Ventures is to identify and invest in startups that have already developed a working prototype and focuses on niche areas/sectors that Amadeus believes are at the forefront of developing market trends.

The company says in its blog:

“Nowadays, with consumers rapidly adopting new products, open source platforms prevailing and an ever increasing number of new entrants, being a leader also means helping to nurture new ventures and startups in the travel and hospitality space.

It is just as important to us that we encourage innovation for the travel industry, since innovation is part of Amadeus’ DNA.”

Startups that are funded by Amadeus Ventures will also enjoy the benefit of Amadeus’ operational assistance, gaining access to its extensive global network, industry knowledge and IT capabilities.

Of course, Amadeus’s move is not just for love.

“Amadeus is looking at the potential financial performance of the investment, but equally at the tight commercial relationships that we will foster with the companies we invest in.”

Amadeus Ventures has already led an investment round in Yapta, the airfare price insurance service. Yapta is the developer of FareIQ, a price tracking technology which provides in-depth, 24×7 analysis and insights into corporate airfares.

The venture arm says it is already in the process of evaluating and analyzing further investments.

Abacus, the APAC-focused GDS also has a venture wing – Abacus Ventures.

Spearheading this trend some three and a half years ago was Concur, which outlined how it would be making strategic investments through a dedicated fund.

While the competitors of Amadeus – Sabre and Travelport – do not have investment divisions per se, they both have their respective marketplaces for developers around the globe to build travel tech products to increase innovation in and around the GDSs businesses.

Travelport recently launched its iTunes-style marketplace for travel agent applications. Sabre has had its Red App store marketplace since the summer of 2011.

NB: Investment image via Shutterstock.

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Karthick Prabu

About the Writer :: Karthick Prabu

Karthick was general manager for Tnooz in Asia until September 2014.



  1. Steve Sherlock

    This is a good move and following an early stage investment boom, it would seem.

    Even governments like the Chilean government are investing in startups by using a $40k gift to attract the best early stage businesses and entrepreneurs for six months. Their approach is slightly different though, as they don’t take equity but instead send entrepreneurs to all parts of the country to give motivational talks with the aim to change the conservative culture towards being more entrepreneurial.

    It’s called StartupChile.org – and I just finished giving such a talk in a Puerto Montt of all places. The Amadeus Ventures fund would be a logical next port of call for the travel startups in this program! But does that mean I have to learn French aswell 🙂


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