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Expense management conglomerate Emburse has taken two more providers under its corporate umbrella, acquiring travel management app developer Roadmap and corporate travel spending analytics specialist DVI in separate deals.
The acquisitions—terms of which were undisclosed—significantly expand Emburse's capabilities to offer clients services around travel management and spending data, each of which will be areas of increased emphasis for corporates as business travel resumes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Emburse CEO Eric Friedrichsen.
"We've been looking to invest in travel and spend analytics solutions since well before Covid, and when business travel ground to a halt when the pandemic hit, that only strengthened our conviction that this is an area when we should focus our innovation and investment," Friedrichsen said. "We realized early on when Covid hit that when travel restarted, it would take a very different shape to before, and … there will be a greater emphasis on travel data and insights [and] employee traveler experience."
Emburse had a presence in both travel booking and spending data prior to the new acquisitions, offering booking tools through some of its brands, including Certify and Nexonia, as well as a business spending intelligence platform, Emburse Analytics. But the new deals considerably beef up Emburse's capabilities in those areas.
Netherlands-based Roadmap specializes in custom-building mobile travel apps for its clients, a roster that includes Nike, Merck, Microsoft, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Emburse will continue to offer Roadmap's service as a standalone option to clients, while also leveraging opportunities across its platform of services, according to Friedrichsen.
"Roadmap is a great solution in its own right, and we'll continue to sell it," the Emburse CEO said. "We'll certainly also be looking to integrate some of Roadmap's mobile capabilities—like the ability to offer branded, curated apps to customers and the ability to make recommendations for employees to make their trips more safe, sustainable, et cetera—in Emburse's existing solutions."
Roadmap's client roster offers cross-selling opportunities, too, Friedrichsen noted. "Roadmap has an incredibly impressive customer list of Fortune 500 companies, so we'd certainly love the opportunity to earn their business for our other solutions," he noted. "However, they will be able to use Roadmap as a standalone solution."
As for DVI, the travel data specialist's services will be integrated into Emburse Analytics, boosting that service's ability to consume and analyze travel-specific spend data in addition to its existing capabilities around overall corporate spending.
"With the addition of DVI, we have a great ability to accurately tie together booking, card and expense data, [which] will make it a key component of our Emburse Analytics solution," Friedrichsen said, adding that Emburse will continue to serve DVI's existing customers as well.
While the shutdown of effectively all corporate travel over the past year and resulting revenue strain for many companies has led to what some observers see as a buyers' market when it comes to M&A activity in the industry, the acquisitions as "very much strategic rather than opportunistic," Friedrichsen said.
"We're fortunate to be in a strong financial position which makes M&A possible," said the Emburse head. "We were actively looking, and both of these companies were open to an initial discussion, and things obviously progressed from there."
The leadership and employees of both Roadmap and DVI have joined Emburse, Friedrichsen said, noting "one of the key reasons that we acquired both companies was for their incredibly talented teams."
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