3 ON THE HORIZON
• Amex GBT & HRG’s pending merger
• Bizly gets venue listings & an investment
• Meetings & events added $446B to U.S.
economy in 2016
• IHG will launch new upscale brand & acquire
in luxury space
• Airbnb’s new property categories, loyalty
plans & more
• Group & corporate biz gave hoteliers surprise
boost in Q4, plus loyalty platforms & plans
• Could implementing virtual cards save on
• Traxo automates transmission of booking
data to third parties
• Anvil brings medical assistance in house
Travel’s Oliver Quayle
on KDS’s pace of expansion into the U.S.
What’s Inside 4 | On the Record
CONTINUED ON PAGE 17
Amex GBT has
“been very stringent on
what the entry criteria
is before they ... push
all their customers onto
KDS. ... But for the
first half of 2018, you’ll
start to see a huge
amount of migration.”
About half of travelers
feel restricted by their
travel policies, plus other
sentiments U.S. travelers
have about researching &
booking trips, all broken
down by age.
Sophisticated data management is within reach for
small & midsize enterprises.
Travel managers Bryan
Redmond & Jennie Robertson discuss the possibilities, processes & problems.
AppZen CEO Anant Kale
shares five kinds of
expense fraud, such as the
U.S. auto manufacturing
employee who kept upgrading car rentals to Mercedes, & how AI can help.
Blockchain-based travel distribution company Winding Tree’s initial
coin offering launched on Feb. 1 and
closed at midnight on the morning
of Feb. 15. Transactions were validated by Feb. 24. The results: The
ICO raised 16,278 Ethereum tokens.
At closing, each was worth $934.95,
according to EthereumPrice.org. At
that rate, the ICO raised $15.2 million, from 7,082 backers, and generated 25 million Lif tokens, Winding
Tree’s new cryptocurrency. A September presale brought in $1.5 million via more than 1,000 investors,
Winding Tree will receive only
$10 million from the ICO now.
The excess will be deposited into a
smart contract as part of a Market
Validation Mechanism. The mecha-
nism can buy back and destroy Lif
tokens, allowing investors to re-
cover at least parts of their invest-
ments if the project fails, said Cryp-
to Briefing lead ICO analyst Daniel
Hockenberry. He added that it’s
an uncommon ICO practice. “The
more people use the buyback option
over the two-year vesting period, if
the project is failing, the less money
[that] will ultimately be available
for the team,” he explained.
ICO Versus IPO
Winding Tree has not yet finished
construction of a viable product, unheard of for an IPO but not unusual in
the world of ICOs, where a big idea,
a white paper and the magic wand of
blockchain can attract sizable funding. ICOs are all the rage for startups,
particularly those with a blockchain
bent, and Winding Tree is one of several travel-focused entities that have
tested the market. Last year, ICOs
from an array of entities across a variety of verticals netted $3.7 billion,
according to CoinSchedule, which
counted 235 ICOs in 2017.
Winding Tree’s $15.2M ICO
BY JAY BOEHMER & JOANN DELUNA
Where every trip leads to secure payments, fully accountable travelers, and effortless expensing.
GDPR Blocking & Tackling
BY ELIZABETH WEST
Technically, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation became law in
2016. Enforcement will begin May 25, and if the standing-room-only GDPR Master-class attendance at last month’s Business Travel Show in London was any indicator,
travel buyers are under pressure to square their programs with the new regulations.
GDPR replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive. It defines data rights
for EU citizens, wherever they work or engage in commerce around the globe,
and it lays out the conditions under which the data of EU citizens can be transferred outside the European Economic Area—the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway—which is a critical component for travel. GDPR requires all
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