London-based Beyonk will announce Wednesday that it bought smaller rival Bookinghound, creating the United Kingdom’s biggest seller of tickets to on-the-ground attractions, Skift has learned.
The move marries Bookinghound’s wider geographic reach and specific technologies with three-year old Beyonk’s access to capital and management team, said Beyonk’s chief executive and founder Oscar White. White will lead the combined company. Bookinghound CEO Mike Cohen will remain as head of product and proposition, White said in an interview.
“The point of the acquisition was to get into some of these international markets,” White said. “They’ve got millions of bookings happening already, and there is a massive opportunity to expand it.”
The attractions business has been a major target of the biggest players in online travel, who focused first on selling airline tickets and hotel rooms. Google launched a Tickets feature last year, while TripAdvisor and Booking.com have also been active. Google’s platform got off to a rough start, with poor reviews from some travel industry partners.
Specific terms of the Beyonk-Bookinghound deal, which closed on May 20, were not disclosed.
Tickets to events, attractions, and festivals generate $150 billion in annual sales, White said, including even tickets to a llama farm in the UK. Bookinghound uses its technology and relationships with vendors to sell events and attractions tickets through sites that use their own brands to attracthet consumers.
Bookinghound’s system manages features like gift voucher sales, pre-arrival waivers, and contactless check-in at venues, as well as connections to payment services like Stripe. It also lets sellers manage variable pricing plans and promotions, and to survey customers.
“We think it’s the most configurable platform on the market,” White said. Cohen “has a really good idea of what companies want from software in the space.’
The merged company will expand into financial services, using its access to information about how many tickets a venue is selling to underwrite lending, and selling insurance to consumers, White said.
“We have a very good business in the UK, and a plan to better monetize the business,” White said.
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