Adventure and travel website Zozi announced its first ever acquisition today, revealing its purchase of TripFlavor, a similarly themed startup that builds booking and customer management software for activity merchants.
Zozi purchased TripFlavor earlier this year in February, but it is announcing the acquisition now, with TripFlavor’s platform being integrated and rebranded as Zozi Advance. The new service will enable activity merchants who sell experiences and adventures through Zozi to manage customer relationships, schedule bookings in real time and process payments, all through the new platform.
This means small businesses, such as kayaking services or bike rentals who sell services through Zozi will now have a built-in business management platform when they sign up with the company. In addition, they can also use the platform to manage bookings that come from channels outside Zozi, such as walk-ins, phone calls or personal websites.
While the new technology is geared towards Zozi’s merchants, there’s also benefits to Zozi’s customers. They will now be able to book trips in real time instead of the previous model which was voucher-based.
“The TripFlavor acquisition, successful integration, and launch of Zozi Advance marks an important milestone for the company,” said TJ Sassani, CEO and co-founder of Zozi. “The TripFlavor team built an incredible technology platform that solved specific problems for both our customers and merchants.
TripFlavor was founded in 2011 by Sam Edelson, an early Airbnb employee, and Gene Drabkin, a former Ning engineer. It was launched as an an OpenTable-style platform for activities and tours, with funding from some prominent angel investors, including Nathan Blecharczyk (co-founder & CTO of Airbnb); Mark Leslie (founder, chairman and CEO of Veritas Software); and Ken Keller (co-founder of IGN Entertainment).
“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with ZOZI,” said Edelson, CEO of TripFlavor. “The large activities market has long been under-served because most companies lack several pieces to the puzzle. After meeting with many potential strategic partners, it was clear that ZOZI had all the pieces in place and we wanted our technology to be part of the platform that will ultimately power the active lifestyle market.”
Sassani says the acquisition was a natural fit, given that Tripflavor was already building management software for the kind of activity merchants Zozi works with, and through its large merchant network, visible brand and dedicated sales team, Zozi could give the platform the exposure it needed.
Check out our previous coverage of Zozi in our Start Me Up section as well as Sassani’s keynote address at the very first Hub event on marketing and social commerce.