High Fliers: Are Ireland’s TravelTech Companies The Best In The World?

Dublin is rapidly becoming a hub for innovation in the travel sector.

Irish Travel Tech is a diverse mix of local startups and multinationals, global giants and experimental innovation labs.

And the field is only getting bigger: Hailo founder Jay Bregman is planning a worldwide drone startup here, travel research authority Phocuswright chose Dublin for their conferences on the future of travel and our airport apparently has the best wifi in Europe, a small but much-appreciated detail for frequent fliers.

We’ve rounded up the travel technology companies in Dublin you need to know about below. If you’re ready (and if you’ll forgive the cheesy pun), it’s time for takeoff:

1. Acteavo
Aimed at the tours and activities crowd, Acteavo lets tour professionals and business owners manage their bookings in one streamlined, cost-reducing, time-efficient dashboard.

2.  Adara
Adara have offices in London, New York, Boston, Chicago, California, Singapore and Dublin, home to its EMEA headquarters which launched in 2013. The analytics company processes commercial data, making travel-related advertising more efficient at reaching the right customers.

3. Airbnb
Another recent arrival, Airbnb opened in Dublin in 2013, employing an initial 300 staff and announcing a further 200 hires and expansion this year with a new ‘warehouse’ HQ at Hanover Quay. Likely the biggest news story in travel tech at the moment, Airbnb are reported to have raised $1 billion in funding, putting their valuation at $24 billion.

4. Amadeus
An old hand in tech terms (they were founded in 1987), Amadeus operate in 195 countries with over 11,000 people. Their software powers transactions within the travel sector, working with travel agencies, airlines, hotels, railways, car rental companies and airports among others. They have offices in Smithfield, Dublin, and have invested in travel startups BookingPal and Yapta.

5. Arconics
Arconics specialise in aircraft mobile applications for planes, making flying safer and more efficient. First deployed with Ryanair in 2001, their client list has since expanded to include Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Aer Lingus and many more. 

6. Avvio
The booking engine for premium hotels was founded in Dublin in 2002, partnering with hotels to grow their direct channel business. They work with an illustrious client list of over 350 hotels around Europe, the UK and North America. 

7. Bookassist
Bookassist are a digital strategy agency catering exclusively to hotels. Founded in Dublin in 1999, they now operate offices in Paris, Madrid, Rome, Vienna and Prague and have won multiple World Travel Awards.

8.  Boxever
This Irish SAAS travel company produces “data that’s going places”, offering a cloud-based solution for managing data, CRM and analytics. Last year they struck a deal with Ryanair and expanded to a second office in Boston, also counting Air New Zealand and eDreams among their clients.

9. Cartrawler
Founded in Dublin and used by airlines around the world, Cartrawler has offices in Boston, London and Dublin and is backed by BC Partners and Insight Venture Partners. The car hire software company was founded in 2004 and has rapidly expanded in recent years, acquiring Finnish taxi software startup Cabforce in 2015.

10. Coindrum
Solving the very relatable proble of that handful of foreign change you end up stuck with at the end of a holiday, Coindrum stock airports with self-service machines which convert your loose change into airport shopping vouchers.  They’re based in Dublin’s Barrow Street and were founded in 2012: investors include Irelandia founder Declan Ryan.

11. Comparethefare.ie
More than 85% of those leaving Ireland travel using Ryanair or Aer Lingus, so it seems natural that a comparison service would spring up mining fares from the two Irish airlines. A free smartphone app which broadcasts live, up-to-the-minute information, comparethefare was launched in 2014.

12. Good Travel Software
A ‘revolution in car sharing’, Good Travel Software are very much on the rise. Their product, Drop Car, maximises revenue from car sharing fleets using yield management techniques, while Wayfarer is a car share booking platform.

13. FexCo
A fintech and travel crossover which specialises in bureau de change and payment car software, Fexco have their headquarters in Kerry but also an office in Dublin, as well as in the UK, Spain, New Zealand, US, Middle East and Asia.

14. GetThere
Similar to Hit the Road, but for the entirety of Ireland, GetThere aim to provide a single hub for transport in Ireland, combining rail, bus, private coaches and lift sharing. They launched in 2008 and update constantly.

15. Homestay
Based at Stephen’s Green in the centre of Dublin, Homestay is an online platform for booking accommodation in people’s homes. The host is present during the visitor’s stay, offering hospitality and local knowledge. The site launched in 2013, with investment from Delta Partners and Enterprise Ireland. 

16. Hostelworld
Beginning within the niche of hostel bookings, Hostelworld have since defied their name to become the go-to website for finding accommodation at campsites, B&Bs and yes, hostels around the world. They have offices in Dublin and Shanghai and were founded in 2005, operating in over 180 countries. 

17. Indigo and CityHook
Built by a team of technologists and researchers based in Dublin, Indigo Connect targets the difficult ‘last mile’ of a passenger’s journey, i.e. taxis, trains, coach and shuttles, making it easy to book and easy to sell for leading travel brands. Indigo scored an award from Phocuswright in Dublin this year.

 18. Datalex
Founded in Ireland and billed as the “world’s leading travel distribution platform”, Datalex’s client list comprises some of the world’s best known airlines, including Delta, jetBlue, Virgin Atlantic and our very own Aer Lingus. Publicly traded since 2000, they have a built a digital marketplace for over one billion shoppers around the world.

19. LikeWhere
LikeWhere produce software which gets to know customers and offers them recommendations for travel retail, giving businesses detailed insights with what they call an ‘intelligence layer’ of data.

20. Inflight Dublin

The largest independent Content Service Provider (CSP) in the world happens to be based in Dublin. Inflight supply video and audio entertainment to over 50 airlines around the world, with offices also in Addis Ababa, Dubai, Los Angeles, Hanoi and Dhaka

21. Retail inMotion
A leading in-flight retail specialist, Retail inMotion have developed a software suite which helps airlines source and distribute products, and have a best-in-class Logistics and Supply Chain.

22. iCabbi
This NDRC Launchpad graduate solves the very real problem of how to order a taxi in a country where you don’t speak the local language. Their dispatch system began as a B2B product but is now customer-facing, with the motto ‘Built with taxi companies for taxi companies’.

23. HitTheRoad
Another NDRC graduate providing a very useful service, especially for those who live or are travelling in Dublin. Launched in 2010, Hit the Road offers an interactive map of travel options around Dublin, supporting Dublin Bus, Luas, DART and commuter rail services.

24. NetAffinity
An award winning international tech, design and marketing company which works exclusively with hotels, NetAffinity’s services include a hotel booking engine, website design and marketing services.

 25. MeetingsBooker

Covering over 70,000 conference venues in over 130 countries, MeetingsBooker makes it easy to book locations for conferences or just single rooms for business. Founded in 2008, they have offices in Dublin and San Francisco. 

26. Monex
A financial services group catering to retail, e-commerce and hospitality, Founder Frank Murphy created Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) in 1996, first implementing it with Hertz rent-a-car in Ireland–Monex is now global, and worth close to €100 billion.

27. MTT (Mobile Travel Technologies)
Founded in 2005 and based in Dublin’s Silicon Docklands, MTT create mobile apps and technologies for airlines, travel companies and hotels, listing Easyjet and Flybe among their clients and have raised $5 million in series A funding, counting Brian Caulfield among their backers.

28. OpenJaw
An ‘open jaw’ ticket is a round-trip ticket where you don’t end travelling home the same way you departed. The term also appears as the name for this Irish subsidiary of global travel tech company Guestlogix, which produces software for booking tickets, hotel rooms and other travel-related purchases. With a HQ in Dublin alongside offices in Galway, Madrid, Krakow and Hong Kong, OpenJaw announced a deal with Cathay Airlines and Hainan Airlines earlier this year.

29. Roomex
An aggregator for hotel sites around the world, Roomex was founded back in 2004, rapidly going from a local supplier to a global source for finding accommodation. They have offices in Dublin and in London, and also operate Roomex Business and a Duty of Care platform for hospitality workers. 

30. SimplyFly
Not yet launched but on the horizon, SimplyFly (see what they did there?) aim to simplify airport retail with a streamlined shopping app. They’re based in Dublin, with investment from Google Ventures, Enterprise Ireland and Intelligentsia Ventures.

31. TripAdvisor

The world’s largest travel site opened an engineering hub in Dublin’s Docklands in 2013, its largest operation outside their US headquarters. Operating in 45 countries and featuring over 225 million reviews, TripAdvisor was launched in 2000 and acquired by Expedia in 2005. 

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