Flight Centre Group (ASX:FLT), continues to strengthen its rapidly growing global corporate travel business, today announcing a strategic investment in The Upside Travel Company (“Upside”), the corporate travel company launched in 2017 by Priceline founder Jay Walker.
FLT’s investment is for a 25% interest in Upside which will see it become the business’s largest individual shareholder providing access to Upside’s travel technology platform and software development resources. As part of the agreement, the parties also entered into a commercial deal that covers cooperation on various distribution initiatives that combine FLT’s deep understanding of the corporate travel space with Upside’s powerful technical assets.
With this deal, FLT improves its technology capabilities, specifically in the small-and-midsize corporate market. FLT plans to leverage Upside’s technology platform to continue the digital enablement of its Corporate Traveler business, pairing the proficiency of its people with cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning models. The investment also adds Washington, DC to the expanding global list of FLT “Lab” locations following the recent investment in Bangkok-based 30SecondsToFly, and the acquisition of the award-winning mobile app Sam :] in Barcelona last month.
“We have been impressed by the capability and flexibility of Upside’s technology and team to improve the business traveler experience. 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 technology,” according to Dean Smith, President of FLT’s Americas operations.
For Upside, the deal substantially bolsters the company’s product offering to the small corporate market, where it will continue to operate under the Upside brand. Access to FLT’s supplier relationships and global reach expands Upside’s inventory and enhances its ongoing software development with a broader set of travel data inputs.
“FLT is the perfect partner for Upside as we get aggressive in serving small corporate clients. Not only does FLT’s global scale, content, and experience immediately make our product more complete, but FLT’s people and expertise also make us smarter, which is key as we accelerate into the future.” said Jay Walker, CEO of Upside.
The Upside product will soon take advantage of the emerging standards called Next-Generation Storefront, which are being developed by ATPCO in collaboration with airline and industry leaders. Incorporating the new standards for product display is a top post-investment priority for both parties and is expected to take place in Q2 of 2019. “It’s promising to see FLT and Upside work together on providing the best traveler experience possible by making NGS a priority so flight shoppers can compare like-type products on third party channels. We’re inspired to see so many channels taking a step forward to transform flight shopping” said Gianni Cataldo, Head of Research & Development, at ATPCO.
Jefferies LLC served as the sole financial advisor to Upside.
SOURCE Flight Centre Travel Group (Canada) Inc.
Labuan IBFC’s Financial Services Community Band Together to Contribute to the Relief Efforts in Combating COVID-19
Labuan International Business and Financial Centre, Labuan IBFC’s financial services and intermediation community have come together to assist local authorities in relief efforts via the pooling of resources.
Labuan IBFC’s Cross-Industry Group comprising of all the industry associations representing licensed entities in the jurisdiction has led the formation of a pool fund, focused on providing relief to frontliners and those less fortunate in Labuan.
This Cross-Industry Group consists of Labuan Financial Services Authority, Labuan International Insurance Association, Association of Labuan Banks, Association of Labuan Trust Companies, Labuan Investment Banking Group and the Labuan Fintech Association.
The Labuan IBFC Community is deeply concerned about the growing scale of the COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic impact, particularly on Labuan island. Specifically, this resource pool will fund towards the purchase and distribution of personal protective equipment for hospital staff, healthcare providers, and other frontline service personnel on the island.
Relief, in the form of household necessities, will also be provided to those in the B40 income group and to daily wage earners who are impacted by the situation, as well as schools and small businesses.
The above effort is testament of the commitment and empathy of the Labuan IBFC community towards the people of Labuan island, by providing whatever assistance it can to relieve hardships under the current situation.
SOURCE Labuan IBFC
Demand Wealth Launches the Nation’s First Investment Platform Designed to Align Financial Goals and Personal Values
Demand Wealth received an undisclosed seven figure investment from FinTech Private Equity firm Niche Investment Partners LLC. providing investors with an alternative to broad or often misleading investment portfolios*, the Demand Wealth platform promotes transparency and respect for every American’s voice; allowing clients to invest according to their political, religious, and ethical convictions along with specialized portfolios designed for specific life stages (e.g. newlyweds, divorce or family death).
Demand Wealth is a first-of-its-kind platform created to provide investors frictionless access to ultra -niche investment portfolios and a free or paid set of full-service financial planning tools; providing ethical and situational peace-of-mind.
Investing in companies with shared values is one of the most underutilized tools for change held by the public. Demand Wealth reminds clients that powerful corporations are built on the investments of average Americans. Investing money in places you believe deserve your support reflects the backbone that America has at her core.
“Our goal is to help everyday Americans put the power of their wallet to use by investing according to their conscience” says Brandon Mink, President at Demand Wealth. “We know how important it is to put each individual’s hard-earned money onto the balance sheets of companies they believe in, to not only see significant portfolio returns, but know that those returns will come from companies they can be proud of.”
The company was created with several goals in mind, including:
- To manage money as effectively as any traditional investment firm, while helping clients keep more of their portfolio return. Demand Wealth keeps costs at a fraction of their competitors’, while providing comprehensive personal services expected anywhere else; by embracing the digital, paperless world and utilizing the most up to date security and privacy protocol.
- To provide personalized portfolios that allow our clients to align their capital with their values for varying risk profiles and stages of life.
- Most importantly, to inform Americans that the money in their retirement plan (e.g. 401k) seldomly aligns with their beliefs, even when invested with a like-minded advisor*. Demand Wealth remains transparent with where your money is going and provides a more impactful and personalized portfolio than what is currently available at any other investment firm today.
“Clients are demanding more from their wealth managers. They want greater customization of their portfolio without compromising the service they have become accustomed to at larger traditional firms”, says Wade Ellison, Chief Operating Officer at Demand Wealth.
SOURCE Demand Wealth
Carver Edison Announces Expansion of Leadership Team, Gregory Barton Joins as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel
Carver Edison, a New York City-based financial technology company that helps provide financial opportunity to public company employees through its patented technology, has announced the addition of Gregory Barton to the company’s executive leadership team. Barton most recently served as Chief Legal Officer, and before that as Chief Operating Officer, of Wisdom Tree Investments, Inc. a leading ETF sponsor with $50 billion of assets under management.
With more than two decades of experience in executive positions for founder-led public companies in the technology, asset management and digital media industries, Barton will serve in a key leadership capacity as Carver Edison expands to meet growing client demand.
“Greg is joining our leadership team at an important moment for our company,” said Aaron Shapiro, founder of Carver Edison. “As we continue to grow, his deep operational, legal and public company board expertise will help us serve our clients and expand our reach. We’re excited to have Greg join the team.”
“Cashless Participation™ solves for major shortfalls in Employee Stock Purchase Plans and I am thrilled to bring my experience in multiple C-suite roles to the team,” said Barton. “The company has received significant backing from notable financial technology entrepreneurs and investors, which is a testament to the executive team’s vision and focus. I look forward to helping Carver Edison continue to execute on its mission.”
Among his roles prior to joining Wisdom Tree Investments in 2012, Barton served as Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary of TheStreet, Inc., co-founded by Jim Cramer. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) and the Claremont McKenna College (summa cum laude).
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