The worldwide retail bank, payments, and shopping service Klarna may now add “travel agent” to its list of services. Klarna’s 90 million customers will be able to swiftly and simply explore a destination’s options and build customised itineraries thanks to the acquisition of Inspirock, an online travel planner that uses artificial intelligence and local experience. The deal’s financial specifics were not disclosed.
CEO Anoop Goyal and Prakash Sikchi created East Palo Alto-based Inspirock in 2012. Over 25 million tourists use Inspirock each year to plan journeys based on their interests or to find new locations to visit. It secured $3 million in venture capital investment in 2015, with MakeMyTrip, one of India’s leading travel booking sites, as the lead investor. The whole Inspirock team is joining Klarna, according to David Sandstrom, Klarna’s chief marketing officer.
In a written statement, Goyal said, “Our objective at Inspirock has been to make planning a vacation fast, entertaining, and easy.” “By working together, we can realize Klarna’s vision of bringing a seamless purchasing experience to the travel area in a novel way.” Together, Klarna and Inspirock can provide amazing inspiration, resources, and shopping experiences, making vacation preparation as enjoyable as the trip itself.”
Klarna, which is valued at $45.6 billion, has had a busy year: this is the company’s sixth purchase this year, following the acquisitions of Apprl, Stocard, and HERO during the summer, as well as Toplooks.ai earlier this year. Sandstrom explained that the acquisitions approach thus far has been to facilitate large-scale content development. He is optimistic about opportunities to go into inspiration, curation, and social shopping, all of which are important aspects of Klarna’s business. Sandstrom feels that e-commerce has evolved from a solitary and transactional experience to one that includes emotion.
“For me, the next generation of e-commerce is going to be the social side,” he continued. “We’ll be able to connect with peers and conduct a deeper dive into reviews and communicate with key opinion leaders.” “We’ve made significant investments in content production and curation, which will enable our whole client base to contribute content,” says the company. Though it may seem unusual for a firm like Klarna to enter the tourism industry, Sandstrom claims that the purchase of Inspirock is his company’s method of alleviating another pain point for its customers.
In this scenario, after making airline and hotel arrangements, assisting the customer in planning what they would do on their holiday. Additionally, they will be able to use Klarna’s buy now, pay later option to acquire event and attraction tickets. Integrating Inspirock also allows Klarna’s 250,000 shop partners to engage with potential visitors to their local locations. Currently, 66 percent of worldwide travel bookings are made online, with that number predicted to rise to 72 percent by 2025, when the global online travel agency industry is estimated to hit $833.5 billion.
According to Klarna’s own research, an average of 21% of consumers throughout the world chooses travel as the most important category in which they want to splurge in 2021. “Fourty-two percent of individuals think arranging their travels is frustrating,” Sandstrom added. “There are already several great services for booking flights and hotels, so we’re not going there.” What we’re doing is linking local businesses and merchants with that trip planning experience so that visitors can plan what they want to do while they’re here and genuinely experience a city.”