SERKO SME REVOLUTION
SERKO CEO Darrin Grafton is a man with a mission. With an extensive pedigree in travel technology, he is aiming to empower corporate travellers to make their own bookings, and believes there is a massive opportunity in the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) market for travel agents. Later this year the company plans to launch serko.travel – an app-based platform which allows users to simply research and book travel and accommodation – and that’s just the beginning. He told travelbulletin that currently in the SME market about 80% of bookings are made by executive assistants, and believes this can be completely reversed once users switch to the Serko system, providing improved compliance, satisfaction and control as well as huge efficiency enhancements for businesses. During the Helloworld for Business conference in Singapore last month a major deal was unveiled which will see the group highlighted within the app as a fulfilment partner. The Serko app is revolutionary in that it takes content from key domestic suppliers such as Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand as well as Expedia, Wotif and Booking.com. The intention is that the platform provides a convenient, reliable and comprehensive travel booking solution, empowering individual travellers to select from a full range of content while at the same time having their activity captured within the TMC channel. That means companies know what their staff are booking and can ensure they stay “within policy” while also giving TMCS the opportunity to participate in the full travel value chain. Grafton envisions a future for the app where it is an intrinsic part of the working day of any road warrior. He spoke about “app in app” technology – where as soon as a meeting finishes it automatically orders a vehicle to take the traveller to the next location. Other Serko technology offerings include a group booking system which can sell out a flight in a matter of seconds, booking 300 seats “faster than 60 consultants can do it”. There’s bag tracking, where a device is placed inside luggage to give a traveller a notification automatically via the app when it appears on the carousel. When serko.travel formally launches in the coming months it is likely to gain significant publicity via an alliance with online accounting innovator Xero, exposing the offering to Xero’s 730,000 strong SME customer base. Grafton told travelbulletin he is also hoping to accelerate the company’s growth by listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in the coming months.
Serko app is revolutionary in that it takes content from key suppliers’ domestic