Former advertising exec Jason Kelly wants to change how airlines manage bookings and operations.
Along with cofounders Martin Kaduc and Michael Peters, Kelly is launching the startup Kambr today and announcing $4 million in seed funding. VC firms Founder Collective, Global Founders Capital, Studio VC, Silicon Badia, C2 Ventures Capital Partners, and TXV Partners participated in the round.
The company has moved quickly since its official beginnings in Amsterdam, New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angles this past Feb.
Kambr wants to sell software to big airlines that helps them compete with online travel agents. Specifically, Kambr wants to help with a practice in the airline industry called revenue management that airlines use to monitor when and how people book flights.
Airlines typically hire analysts specifically tasked with looking at data to see at which sites and how far out consumers book a trip. Using the data, an analyst may decided to charge $100 for a seat one week and $500 for the same seat a month later.
But revenue management is a big problem for legacy airlines that don’t have the same kind of sophisticated technology that online travel agents have. Research from Expedia found that consumers visit travel websites 38 times before they book.
According to Kelly, software that airlines use today, like Pros and Sabre, was built before the online travel industry took off. As airlines look to catch up with online travel agents like Google Flights, Hopper, and Expedia, Kambr plans to build and pitch software to big airline companies. He said the software will use some artificial intelligence technology but will also be built for analysts to use.
Kelly did not name clients but said that Kambr’s business will be based on a software as a service model that charges airlines a monthly fee. According to research from Forrester Research, the online travel industry will be a $1 trillion market by 2023.
Kambr has 22 employees and plans to double headcount in the next year, Kelly said.
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