The HRS Group has announced the acquisition of hotel check-in start-up Conichi for an undisclosed sum.

HRS invested €10 million into Conichi in 2016, at which point it integrated the technology into its own app. The young company has several offices in Europe, as well as a branch in the US.

The global hotel solutions provider said it will integrate Conichi’s technology into the HRS payment product platform, with the company’s brand and employees joining the group.

Co-founders Maximilian Waldmann and Frederic Haitz set up Conichi in 2014 as a platform to digitise the hotel check-in and check-out process. Corporate clients use its services to streamline their travellers’ stays.

HRS said it will continue to use the start-up’s technology for the automation of check-in/out processes, and that it will in turn become part of a new business division focusing on payment. Waldmann and Haitz will work with HRS colleagues to develop the next generation of data-driven, automated payment technologies, with the ultimate goal of creating a scalable, globally-accepted payment solution that delivers incremental savings and process efficiencies.

Nicole Mantow, who joined HRS in June this year, has been appointed to lead the payment business unit and reports directly to CEO Tobias Ragge. Mantow brings nearly 20 years’ experience in the payment industry, having previously worked as the Germany MD for Evo Payments International. Prior to this, she was responsible for the strategy, marketing and sales of payment service provider ConCardis for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Ragge commented: “Payment has long been one of our most important strategic pillars. The new structure ensures the agility of the division while emphasising the importance of payment solutions as managed travel evolves. An innovative and reliable payment process achieves 23 per cent higher acceptance of the travel programme by travellers; no other solution offers companies such savings potential, especially with an uncertain global economy looming in 2020.”

According to HRS, its solution collects, audits and reconciles all invoices on a global scale and digitises this into ‘level three’ data. Ragge said: “This hasn’t been possible in our industry before. It increases the transparency of traveller data and enables the continuous optimisation of travel programmes.”

Commenting on the transaction, Conichi’s Waldmann added: “The acquisition is proof of the strong performance of the entire Conichi team over the last few years. I am grateful for every second with this unique team. We are proud that our HRS roots only grow stronger now, and that together – leveraging global resources, superior data integration and regional expertise – we’ll be on the front lines of global corporate payment automation for years to come.”

The news comes just two weeks after HRS announced the acquisition of The Lido Group in Australia.

hrs.com/corporate; conichi.com

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