Unicorn Swile acquired Pro Travel Specialist Okarito, Buyout and Merge

Behind each capture, there is a little story. With Swile Okarito, an expert in business travel management, is a salesperson. The Montpellier start-up, which started its adventure with meal vouchers before expanding to other employee benefits (gift vouchers, mobility vouchers, etc.), is looking to give its own employees a travel solution that business and finally opted for the young Parisian shoot Okarito.

“When the time came to add the business cost management bricks to us, we clearly thought of them first,” he said. Loic Soubeyrandmanaging director of Swile, who spent 6 million euros to get the start-up (56.1 % cash and the remainder in shares). The Okarito brand is intended to melt.

The inevitable Covid

Made in 2018, Okarito’s Remi Duvoux at Brice Huet, Okarito is a business travel booking platform (hotel, plane, train and car rental) that eliminates expense reports. “ Business travel budgets are large. We’re not talking about cost reports to buy paper clips and staplers, but invoices worth a few hundred euros that often have to be advanced. It creates the least discomfort and the worst stress, ”says Loïc Soubeyrand.

It boasts 500 customers including Welcome To The Jungle, Payfit and Bio c’Bon. Like any tourism business, Okarito has been hit hard by Covid-19. Its fundraising was 2.1 million The euros closed a few weeks before the first detention, allowing it to last for several hours. “In such conditions, if you do not recover immediately with the right funds, you will fall. Not to mention that it’s a business with a very low margin, ”said one of its investors. And the competition, meanwhile, is well -funded. At the beginning of the year, Spanish TravelPerk (currently in France) was up 115 million ng dollars.

Other acquisitions to come

Okarito is Swile’s fourth pick in four years. By 2020, the unicorn has got its hands on it Sweevana (solution for CSEs) and Brick (employee promises), thus allowing it to expand its offer, which mainly revolves around meal vouchers. At the beginning of 2021, it offered itself Brazilian Vee Beneficios to establish itself in this country which is the world’s leading market for employee benefits.

“More than 70% of professional costs are associated with business travel. Our challenge is to cover 100% of the topic, but only for SMEs”.

Loic Soubeyrand, CEO of Swile

Swile is currently looking for someone to manage M&A and post-merger integration (PMI). So far, a group of four people have a mission to find targets and combine them. “So far, we’ve got small companies, no major complex integration. But you still have to make sure the puzzle is properly put together,” Loïc Soubeyrand underlined.

A marketplace of the future

This impending recruitment means that Swile’s recruitment strategy is not yet complete, especially with the management of professional costs. “More than 70% of professional costs are associated with business travel. Our challenge is to cover 100% of the topic, but only for SMEs. Everyone uses the Swile card,” the manager said.

In addition to the acquisitions it includes in its offering, the start-up aims to build a market place where its current services and third-party partners are located (performance tools for managers, internal communication software, etc.). All for SMEs.

Like many start-ups, Swile still has a hard time attracting large accounts. With its 25,000 customers (750,000 users), mostly start-ups and SMEs. But the unicorn staged a great coup by winning Carrefour’s call for tenders more than a year ago, allowing it to award 62,000 beneficiaries a contract. As effective as an acquisition.

A General Manager for Brazil

Just over a year after setting up in Brazil, Swile just recruited Júlio Brito to expand in the country. Since January 2015, he has been the Commercial Director of Alelo, a joint venture set up by two Brazilian banks Banco Bradesco and Banco do Brasil. Created 18 years ago, Alelo is one of the major players in employee benefits in the country along with French companies Edenred and Sodexo. Its product range is even wider than Swile’s: meal vouchers, mobility, vehicles, culture … but also business expenses and electronic tolls.

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