Today Collinson announces a significant investment in French start-up Inflyter, the pre-eminent airport retail and duty free ordering platform, and further investment in Grab, the leading airport e-commerce platform.
Inflyter, the airport retail and duty free ordering platform, provides mobile order-ahead capabilities for duty free goods, allowing travellers to browse and buy items ahead of travelling, saving time and ensuring availability of their desired products. This revolutionary service connects into duty free merchant catalogues at airports around the world, allowing consumers to shop and pay for their purchases in-app and collect with ease with several options outbound and on return. Inflyter has a number of other features to help retailers increase turnover and boost ancillary revenue for airports and airlines. It also delivers an improved experience and convenience for travellers through the airport.
Recent research articles point to an increasing consumer trend to pre-plan and ideally pre-purchase goods ahead of arriving at the airport1, especially amongst younger and Asian travellers.
Collinson sees this as a key investment to fast-track innovation for its own core products, including the world’s leading airport experiences programme, Priority PassTM. It also hopes to create an incubator to drive joint R&D in the airport arena with this highly innovative start-up.
The Inflyter investment coincides with a further tranche of Collinson investment in Grab, the airport e-commerce platform. Grab works with a rapidly growing number of airport operators and concession partners to deliver seamless airport take-out ordering, either in Grab’s proprietary app, or built into airline or airport apps, with several major airlines and airports already key clients. This speeds up the shopping and dining process for consumers and increases basket value for concession partners.
Both investments form part of Collinson’s multi-million-dollar commitment to redefine the airport experience for passengers, following news of significant investment in India and the US to fuel additional growth of Priority Pass. Collinson’s vision is to make each journey more intelligent, personalised, enjoyable and profitable. This not only benefits the traveller but airport operators, retailers and service providers, as well as those that use the airport experience to build customer loyalty, such as payment networks and banks.
As it is doing with Grab, Collinson will help accelerate Inflyter’s development by enabling it to leverage Collinson’s global footprint, expertise and relationships to expand to new clients and markets. In addition to its financial investment, Collinson will take a seat on Inflyter’s Board.
Colin Evans, Founder and Chairman of Collinson, comments: “The travel retail business is experiencing tremendous change as it comes to grips with the increasingly digital passenger behaviour and their rapidly changing demands, such as pre-ordering and personalised experiences. Inflyter is a perfect fit for a growing need to engage passengers earlier in the journey, better understand their desires and to deliver when and how is convenient for them.
“This latest investment, in addition to the deepening relationship with Grab, means we can make the most of the fantastic talent in these young enterprises as part of our ongoing vision to create a joined-up passenger journey. For both Inflyter and Grab, we offer the ability to continue to innovate as a scale-up, taking advantage of their size and nimbleness, and provide access to the support of a $1 billion turn-over business with close relationships with airlines, airports and financial services partners.”
Wassim Saade, Founder and CEO of Inflyter, adds: “After working for two years with the support of some great French institutions and organisations including École Polytechnique, Agoranov and BpiFrance, this new investment from Collinson marks our first round of direct investment with a partner that could not be better aligned with our strategic direction. With Collinson’s support and Colin’s direct involvement in our business, we are very excited to take the investment and scale at pace to keep up with the demand from Collinson itself, as well as airport operators, retailers and concessions.”