Impala announces global partnership with travel powerhouse Rakuten Travel Xchange as part of its expansion into Asia
- New deal supercharges growth for the business as Impala taps into Rakuten’s global membership base, which includes 100 million members in Japan
- Impala surpasses benchmark of 1.5 million bookable rooms
- The joint venture will see Impala inventory made available to Rakuten Travel Xchange
London, 9 August: Today Impala, the start-up using technology to reimagine travel infrastructure, has announced a global partnership with travel powerhouse Rakuten Travel Xchange as the business expands into Asia.
Taking advantage of Rakuten Travel Xchange’s dominance in the Japanese market, Rakuten Travel will act as a room seller for Impala by integrating its revolutionary API with their own tools so Rakuten members can book hotels through Impala.
This new partnership with Impala opens the doors of many hotels - especially those in Europe - to new guests
Head of Hotel Contracting & Connectivity, Rakuten Travel Xchange
Anna Tsujihata, Head of Hotel Contracting & Connectivity for Rakuten Travel Xchange says: “This new partnership with Impala opens the doors of many hotels - especially those in Europe - to new guests. We’re delighted that more travellers than ever will now have access to these properties, and we hope that properties will be delighted to receive more valuable guests from around the world.”
Leading the trend of Open Distribution within travel, Impala’s API platform gives room sellers access to the technology and inventory they need to build new, differentiated products – and hotels can quickly gain access to new markets, to attract more of the guests that are an excellent fit for their property.
The partnership presents a significant growth opportunity for both businesses, with Impala now able to leverage Rakuten’s member bases, and Rakuten Travel Xchange to build its inventory in the European market by adding another channel for distribution - with inventory now surpassing 1.5 million bookable rooms on Impala.
Due to grow exponentially this year, Impala’s pioneering business model is disrupting the sector at record pace by building a direct link between hotels and room sellers, providing a seamless experience for both consumers and vendors.
With a £30 million investment to date, Impala is going through a period of huge growth. This is underpinned by hundreds of hotels joining each day, and an exciting pipeline of new room seller customers as Impala accelerates its recruitment drive.
Our Open Distribution approach is removing layers of complexity that hotels and room sellers have faced for years
VP of Demand, Impala
Leigh Jenkinson, Impala VP of Demand: “We are incredibly excited by the partnership with Rakuten Travel Xchange, which has many synergies with Impala. Our Open Distribution approach is breaking down barriers to entry for the travel sector and removing layers of complexity that hotels and room sellers have faced for years.”
“Our work with Rakuten Travel Xchange comes at an incredibly exciting period of growth for Impala, which our partnership will help to further underpin as we grow our market presence in Asia.”
These new developments sit alongside a full brand relaunch and a strong period of expansion and talent acquisition for Impala with the recent announcement of four senior hires with a wealth of experience from leading technology and travel businesses including Google, Airbnb and Checkout.com.
With backing from Lakestar, Kima Ventures, Stride VC and Latitude - who backed Airbnb, Trivago and Deliveroo, to name just a few - Impala is propelling travel into the future by powering the next generation of travel companies.
Impala is driving a new approach to hotel distribution called ‘Open Distribution’ - a new business model that makes it fast and easy for any hotel and room seller in the world to work together without exclusivity.
Enabled by modern API infrastructure, Open Distribution is easy for any travel business to join. Hotels can quickly gain access to new markets, to attract more of the guests that work for their property. Room sellers can access the technology and inventory to create new differentiated, travel ideas in minutes. Both sides can work with each other, without anybody getting in the way – with no upfront costs, and easy integration. It’s a simple, transparent model, better for all partners’ and their revenues.
About Rakuten Travel Xchange
Rakuten Travel Xchange is an accommodation connectivity and travel technology service within the Rakuten Group – a global group of e-commerce, fintech, digital and communications service companies operating 70+ businesses in over 30 countries and regions. Rakuten Travel Xchange acts as the bridge between accommodation partners and customers worldwide, by distributing its global inventory and the directly negotiated rates of Rakuten Travel and Rakuten LIFULL STAY, enabling its clients globally to send their guests anywhere in the world.
For more information, visit: solutions.travel.rakuten.com.
For more information on Impala or to sign up, please visit impala.travel.
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