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Business spending management platform Coupa Software has
acquired business travel price assurance technology Yapta, adding it to the
company's travel and expense management technology portfolio. The companies did not
disclose the terms of the deal, which has been finalized.
Yapta will now be marketed as Coupa TravelSaver for Airlines
and Hotels, respectively, according to James Filsinger, who served as president
and CEO of Yapta prior to the acquisition and will continue in a leadership
role with Coupa. His new title is to be determined, according to a Yapta spokesperson.
Yapta has made significant inroads in the corporate travel space
with its FareIQ product for air and RoomIQ product for hotel, which search and
rebook—in some cases, automatically—trip elements at lower prices, while
maintaining the travel product expectation for the user. Its competitors in the
space include Tripbam on the hotel side and Fairfly for airfares. Yapta has
been named to Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 for the past three years.
Travel management companies have rolled out their own
versions of price assurance technologies. In November, the company claimed 30
TMC partners that either distribute Yapta products or use Yapta technology under
the hood of their own solutions. Yapta also said at that time it had 8,500 corporate
clients in 46 countries, including half of the Fortune 100. It's website lists
ABB, Amazon, Ford Foundation, National Basketball Association, Shell Oil and the Taylor
Corporation among them.
"At least initially, there will be no day-to-day
changes for Yapta’s current customer base or distribution partners," according
to Filsinger. "They will continue to see the savings they’ve come to
expect and will continue to interact with the Yapta—now Coupa—team with any
questions they might have and to drive greater efficiencies for their programs."
How Coupa will integrate the Yapta technology into its
product portfolio will be watched closely. Coupa currently provides features
for travel spend management; it offers pre-trip expense calculator and approval
technology, and, according to the website, the company "integrates with
best-in-class travel and expense management solutions and all major corporate
cards so that travel spend flows effortlessly into Coupa." A 2015 acquisition of TripScanner powers an email-parsing technology that captures travel spend from email itinerary
confirmations, similarly to Concur TripLink and Traxo.
As a business spend management company, Coupa competes
directly with SAP Ariba, which SAP integrated with its Concur and Fieldglass products
into a comprehensive "Intelligent Spend Group" in May. SAP Concur chief
product strategy officer Mike Koetting spoke to BTN last summer about the advantages
of that broader focus, citing Concur's well documented willingness to manage travel
spend outside of its specific travel channel and the potential for the combined
platforms to flex those muscles. "There may be more magic … around the
breadth of transactions that you can capture and the number of channels that
you can capture and the amount of content you can touch," he said.
Whether the Yapta acquisition signals a larger strategic
move toward travel spend management for Coupa remains to be seen. The
opportunity isn't lost on Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn who cited global annual
business travel spend at "more than $1 trillion per year" in a press
statement and remarked on it as "one of the spend areas within a business
with the least visibility and control."
According to Filsinger, Yapta's decision to
explore a sale was driven by the company's ownership, which "felt the time
was right to determine if there was an opportunity [for a sale] for a variety
of reasons, including the historical success of Yapta, the lifecycle of the
company and overall macroeconomic conditions."
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