Amex GBT buys tech start-up

By Bev Fearis, published 14/10/20

American Express Global Business Travel has acquired technology start-up 30SecondsToFly, a specialist in artificial intelligence and messaging for business travel.

The start-up’s AI developers will join GBT’s growing technology team.

Its technology allows users to book travel through a virtual assistant, called Claire, on Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype and SMS and will be incorporated into the Amex GBT Mobile App and Apple Business Chat over the coming months.

GBT’s Director of New Business Ventures, Gabriel Ayache, said: “Many business travellers want the speed and convenience of self-service. But they also take comfort in knowing that teams of travel counsellors are always there to have their backs. 30SecondsToFly has developed a ground-breaking experience for both travellers and travel counsellors that will optimise the GBT service experience and enhance our messaging capabilities.”

Riccardo Vittoria, CEO of 30SecondsToFly, added: “We believe that intelligent chat is the new standard for corporate travel service. We are very proud to help drive this at scale for GBT and thrilled to be joining the global leader in business travel.”