Kiwi.com (previously known as Skypicker.com) is a dynamic Czech technology company. On its website, Kiwi.com provides a fare aggregator, metasearch engine and booking for airline tickets. Its unique feature is "virtual interlining" - selling flight itineraries combining normally non-cooperating airlines, while Kiwi.com provides guarantees covering missed connections.
The website skypicker.com was started in 2011, in 2016 rebranded to Kiwi.com, headquartered in Brno. Company was founded by Oliver Dlouhý and Jiří Hlavenka. Today is one of the five biggest online sellers of airline tickets in Europe, with yearly turnover around 1.2 billion euros in 2018.
Over 2,400 employees work for it worldwide. Apart from Brno (1000 employees) Kiwi.com has employees also in Barcelona and Prague. Kiwi.com has its outsourced partners in: Belgrade (Serbia), Bratislava (Slovakia), Dalian (China), Kiev (Ukraine), Manila (the Philippines), Split and Zagreb (Croatia), Pune, Nashik and Indore (India), Tunisia, Miami (USA), Bangkok (Thailand), Beijing (China), and Ljubljana (Slovenia).
It offers, among other things, multi-city itineraries and unique customer care in 17 languages and previously has entered into a partnership with a Spanish search engine Amadeus, who has 30 years of industry experience.
The company does not want to offer only air tickets, but wants to provide comprehensive travel services, including tickets for other modes of transport. It is also considering to combine flights from various airports in one city and to ensure even transfer between them.
Kiwi.com recently acquired a minority stake in Israeli company AeroCRS, which manages over sixty airlines and deals with aerospace technology. At the outset, Kiwi.com will be added as a distributor to the Israeli company network. Airlines using the Israeli reservation system will then have access to the Kiwi.com distribution network. Cooperation should ensure further growth for both parties.
In recent days, Kiwi.com has also partnered with China's Tongcheng-Elong, a leader in China's travel market and providing travel services and reservations. China is a key market for KIWI and is setting up a branch there.
Kiwi.com has also invested EUR 200,000 into Czech project Zuri. The funds will be used for the next stage of the development of a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Specifically, Zuri will manufacture a prototype with the wingspan of 11m, weighing 900kg. The prototype will be used for the development of the final concept utilisable for unmanned passenger air transport using the VTOL technology.
According to Forbes.cz (referring to a few unnamed sources), the US fund General Atlantic is supposed to acquire over half of the shares in Kiwi.com. Founder and CEO Oliver Dlouhy did not confirm the information. (General Atlantic holds assets for about $ 28 billion and is involved in technology, finance and health care worldwide. His investment portfolio includes e.g. Airbnb, BuzzFeed, Flixbus, Uber or Slack.)
Source: https://www.idnes.cz and www.cianews.cz
Prepared by the team of CzechTrade Israel