Bookaway makes LATAM acquisition and launches transport management system for APAC

Bookaway makes LATAM acquisition and launches transport management system for APAC

Specialist ground transportation technology firm bolsters its global footprint by swooping for Sisorg and piloting seatOS in the Philippines and Thailand

Bookaway Group has strengthened its global footprint supporting bus and ferry operators to sell online with an acquisition in LATAM and launch of a new platform for APAC.

The firm, which has raised $80 million in venture capital funding, provides management systems for suppliers in a market that remains predominantly offline. 

Today it announced the acquisition of Sisorg, one of the most widely used Transport Management Systems (TMS) in Latin America. 

As the same time it has launched seatOS, a TMS that it has developed in-house for partners in Asia Pacific. 

Bookaway says ground transportation remains the “weak link” in the global travel ecosystem with only 10% of bus, ferry and rail tickets are booked digitally.

The firm is working to modernise the sector from a traditional Excel spreadsheet ‘pen and paper’ industry to one more akin to the hotel and airline industries. 

It says the “ultimate aim is to make booking ground transportation as easy as booking a hotel or a flight”.

A TMS work like a Property Management System for hotels or a Passenger Service System for airlines to manage and distribute inventory through online sales channels.

It also organises operational aspects like maintenance, routes, GPS tracking, staff schedules, financial reporting and analytics. 

Sisorg has two decades of history in Latin American countries including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Paraguay.

As part of Bookaway it will take advantage of the group’s scale and resources to allow offline operators to begin retailing online. 

The Sisorg acquisition sees more than 100 operator customers in LATAM added to the group’s client base.

SeatOS, which is being piloted in the Philippines and Thailand, was developed to meet the specific needs of operators in APAC. 

Offered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) it meets regional compliance and financial requirements. 

Bookaway said it is the only ground transport marketplace offering tailored TMS solutions in different regions of the world.

Noam Toister, chief executive and co-founder, said: “We want to bring every bus, ferry and train seat online to create an efficient marketplace with a modern digital experience for travellers. But we can’t do that if an operator is using pen and paper. 

“That’s why we’re giving operators in Asia and Latin America a simple TMS they can easily adopt to begin selling online, with Bookaway Group or any other marketplace.

“With our transportation management systems (TMS) we are harnessing technology, not only to help local operators go online, but also to improve their productivity and grow their business. 

“Our TMS solutions help in ensuring timely delivery of their transportation services, adding routes more quickly and providing a better ground transportation experience for travellers. 

“We believe TMS adoption is necessary to achieve our goal of making it easy for everyone to travel a country using its local ground and sea transportation services.

“The core of our strategy still remains helping travellers to book easily, we’re also building TMSs because it removes a huge barrier to seamless ground transport experiences. 

“If we see a barrier like this we'll find a way to remove it. Our secret sauce is our ability to quickly and successfully adapt to each market's needs. 

Bookaway operated through four consumer-facing brands: Plataforma 10 in Latin America; 12Go in Asia Pacific; GetByBus in eastern Europe and global brand

It claims to be the world’s largest aggregator of ground transport, helping more than 7,000 operators to retail more than 1.5 million travel options.