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Gett CEO Dave Waiser talks:
Ground transportation booking platform Gett this month announced it would merge with a special purpose acquisition company Rosecliff Acquisition Corp. The deal will provide Gett with up to $253 million in proceeds from Rosecliff’s trust account and up to $30 million in private investment commitment from Rosecliff’s sponsors, with the company planning to list publicly on Nasdaq. Gett CEO Dave Waiser recently spoke to BTN's Molly Dyson about why his company made the decision to strike a deal with a SPAC and what it means for the future.
BTN: What is the reasoning behind merging with Rosecliff rather than attempting an initial public offering?
Dave Waiser: We thought going public would be a very good move for a company focused on the B-to-B space. The corporate ground transportation management market is thought to be worth in excess of $100 billion globally, and our offering is showing a lot of traction, with more than a quarter of Fortune 500 companies being our clients, so we think the time is right. Spend management in ground transportation for corporates is a green field. But we’re tiny relative to the scale of the opportunity, and we believe going public will allow us to harness that opportunity.
Since the opportunity is ripe now and we needed to move as quickly as possible, we decided to partner with Rosecliff. They also have a lot of expertise in corporate America, which is exactly what we need as we aim to grow in the U.S.
BTN: What do you plan to do with the funding included in the merger?
Waiser: It’s a combination of things. This is great capital to execute all of our plans—continue expanding, continue to grab market share and provide more value to more clients, continue aggregating supply. All of that is covered by the fundraising we’re doing with Rosecliff.
BTN: You’re looking for new customers as well as new supply partners?
Waiser: Yes. Our business model is such that you have a win-win situation for all involved. We are a marketplace, and there’s two sides to that: one is our partners or vendors and the other is our clients, who are businesses and enterprises. Our partners receive a higher volume of high-quality, high-value demand from corporates and we don’t charge them for that. Then our corporates enjoy a variety of vendors, which enables them to have wider coverage of rides with faster pick-ups and better choices. For example, they can prioritize green vehicles when making a booking. These days, it can be very difficult to find a car with one single provider, so for us to have content from multiple providers aggregated into one management platform helps our clients get a better service.
The innovation and next generation of transport happens now. The last 10 years was all about building these different options, and now you have our new tech that sits on top of it all. We’re not an operator. We’re partnering with them, but we’re not one of them. We’re doing something totally different. When you sit on top of it all you can deliver totally different value. It’s not about whether one vendor is better than another, it’s about allowing our corporate customers to manage all of their ground transportation. Partners who are innovative and are the quickest to respond benefit the most.
BTN: If you don’t charge suppliers to get in front of corporates, what is your revenue model?
Waiser: We charge corporates for the service, which as I mentioned offers them broader coverage, faster pick-ups and often savings. The savings don’t necessarily come from the providers, but from the fact that they can manage their travel policy across all of the supply available to them. It’s not always about finding the cheapest ride option. Sometimes the simple act of being able to apply your travel policy is enough to make savings. Most of the fraud you see in business travel happens in unmanaged spend. This is where our value lies. Just by applying the travel policy to ground transportation, we’ve seen clients save on average 25 percent of their entire spend, but in some cases this is as much as half their spend.
BTN: Can you explain a little more about how your platform in particular helps with spend management?
Waiser: We really had to start from the ground up by aggregating as much content as we could. Once you have that base, you can start adding digital tools on top of it for the corporates. The most obvious place to start was travel policy. We have this entire supplier base, and now you can aggregate one invoice – something that was incredibly difficult for companies – and now you can allocate costs to different projects. Of course, with that comes reporting across the entire supplier base. It means travel managers can give an answer when they’re asked how much their company spends on ground transportation. I’m surprised at the number of corporates that can’t come up with a figure when they’re asked that question. It puts into perspective how bad the current situation is.
BTN: What is your vision for the future of the company?
Waiser: It might sound radical, but what we really want is to become a standard for corporate ground travel just as Zoom has become the standard for corporate communication. Based on our product offering and our client base, I believe we have a great opportunity to do that. We want to keep delivering value for our clients so they can focus on what they do best. For our partners, we want to continue driving that $100 billion in spend in their direction. And of course we want to keep adding supply partners in new markets, which we can do fairly quickly and without much effort. We’re launching in the U.S., and in the first half of 2022 we plan to launch in more countries in western Europe. The more countries we cover, the more value we can provide our clients because it means they have full control of their spend in those countries. We won’t stop until we have full coverage across the globe.
We like to think we’re building the first global grid of ground transportation and connecting corporates with local supply no matter where they go. Cross-border bookings are not the biggest area of the business, but it’s something we automatically offer to all of our clients.
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