JULIANA Ramirez was working at OYO Motels when she acquired a visit from the founders of Katanox, the startup offering direct API connectivity amongst sellers and inns.
Ramirez, who has just joined OYO in 2020 following a 10-yr stint with extremely minimal value Mexican airline Volaris, realized very first hand the challenges faced by suppliers this kind of as airways when it came to presenting lodge stock.
Dependable for utilizing Volaris’ subscription company, hailed as a video game changer for the airline sector, she was also heading up ancillary revenues and she understood what a activity changer it could be if sellers this kind of as airlines could link to inns directly, bypass the OTAs, thus preserving a lot more revenues for on their own.
“I realized from
functioning at Volaris what a major business the B2B aspect was for OTAs these types of as
Reserving.com and Expedia. I’d get my hotel stock from them and get section of
the revenue share yet a great deal of the new visitors they obtained ended up coming from
“So if there had been the capacity for a seller (like me) to offer immediately with the lodge and maximise our revenues, I would have been quite interested.
“In lots of methods, I
wished I had recognized them whilst I was at Volaris because I would have used their
API to bypass OTAs and maximize hotel fee revenues.”
So when the founders,
whom she understood from the airline sector, frequented her at OYO, it was almost a no-brainer.
“They came to me and explained to me Julie, what
if we re-pipe the present hospitality distribution with an API that would
permit hoteliers to promote to whoever and anywhere they want by enabling direct
partnership with sellers, in a way that hoteliers certainly management their
distribution and trading, though journey sellers – TMC, airlines, publishers – would
boost commission revenues.
“It made so considerably feeling and I was all set to perform with them.”
Regrettably, she didn’t get round to applying Katanox for OYO because nicely, we know what occurred, Covid strike and OYO closed its Latin American functions.
But her fascination in the startup globe had been stirred. Indeed, it was just after attending WiT Singapore in October 2019, in which she learnt of the dynamic happenings in the Asian marketplace – superapps, e-commerce marketplaces, startup innovation – that she decided she desired a modify from the airline marketplace.
It was a agonizing final decision, she stated, presented she had grown up in airlines “but I felt I wanted to get out there and understand far more of other sectors and what was occurring in the travel startup world”.
At OYO Resorts in
Mexico, she received a rapid and furious lesson in hospitality, as well as speed of
execution and chase for scale, and functioning with a team that comprised talent
from names these types of as Google and Fb. For the younger and hungry govt, it
was a heady working experience. “The velocity at which they did issues was amazing, pretty
unlike the rate at an airline, and it was thrilling, a steep learning curve.”
Obtaining herself at a vocation crossroads, Ramirez questioned herself – really should she return to the airline sector or keep on being in the startup environment, furthermore there was also the chance to get into the burgeoning e-commerce industry with models like Amazon increasing and superapps like Rappi scaling and seeking to get into journey.
In the meantime, Katanox made available her an advisory position and right after a journey to their Amsterdam headquarters in the midst of the pandemic, Ramirez took the determination to be a part of the crew. With pores and skin in the activity, she is now leading the commercial and gross sales for the startup started in 2019 by Georgios Georgiadis, Imre Vogelezang, Paul Beukers and Mendel Senf. (The title Katanox arrives from the word Katanomi (Κατανομή) which indicates distribution, and the X is for trade.)
In February 2021,
Katanox lifted a 300,000 Euro convertible mortgage from Innovation Fund
Noord-Holland, on prime of financing by early stage investors, to pursue its
ambitions of “helping the restoration and accelerating
the progress of the travel industry”.
According to the corporation, “The travel
field has viewed a good deal of expansion over the earlier 30 yrs, but innovation in the
sale of travel products has lagged at the rear of. This is primarily the scenario in the
relationship involving travel providers and the expert services they offer you, this kind of as air
journey and resort rooms. This romantic relationship is governed by some closed B2B
marketplaces and B2C platforms.”
To make it easier for journey sellers to straight market resort rooms, the organization reported it is building a platform with scalable one-way links for the back again-stop methods of lodges.
Claimed Ramirez, “I was certain right after my stop by to Amsterdam of the chance to do a little something new and impressive and that would issue to the way vacation brand names can offer hotel rooms straight, devoid of heading as a result of an middleman. The system is modern day and intuitive and coming from the airline field with the black display screen and green letters, this is a important alter. Anyone can use this interface.
At the time of this interview, Ramirez said the firm had currently onboarded much more than 1,000 attributes from across the planet. She is focusing on business vacation sellers and resort chains as her initially layer of buyers. The company is made available on a intake design, primarily based on bookings generated, with no set-up rate involved.
“The value proposition is there. When we speak with travel management providers they get promptly fascinated in the transparency the solution provides, while chains get fascinated because this is anything they have been asking for.
actuality is that the sector has a whole lot of gatekeepers – the switches, the GDS,
the extranets of x&y vendor, or they are relying 100% on the stock of
Scheduling and Expedia, building them just more substantial.”
An additional challenge is
also the fragmented PMS market place with pretty much hundreds of devices out there.
obstacle, Ramirez stated, “We are currently linked with a bunch of them. After
the PMS connection is developed to our API, it will take them, like, five to 10 minutes
to onboard to our system. So we develop into, in a perception, the source of truth.”
She stated the rationale this hadn’t occurred right before was the industry was expanding at double digit in quite a few areas and “almost no a single experienced genuinely had the time to consider a stage back again to check out and enhance their ‘Frankensteins’ of connectivity layers.”
Covid, of study course, improved that imagining. “This is the time when hotels stepped back and mentioned, I have to optimise my relationship – if only I could consider control of my inventory, get control of my channel blend, and not give all my power to the gatekeepers.
“I believe now resorts are ready to just take that choice and, on the other facet, sellers have to have to make more commission revenues.”
Showcased graphic: The Katanox team in Amsterdam. Credit rating: Katanox