By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

OpenJaw Technologies transforms travel companies into travel retailers. We deliver eCommerce technology, to the world’s leading travel brands from their website.  Whereas before airlines sold only their seats, now with OpenJaw’s technology, our customers can sell all of the additional extras, required by their customer for their trip, from car hire to city tours. Our unique technology, ultimately supports travel companies increase their revenues and provide an end to end service to their customers. In addition, our software facilitates customer loyalty programmes. Our clients include; British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines and Air Miles.

How are you different?

Our Platform and Technology

OpenJaw believes retailing is fuelling a revolution in how travel is purchased. We are pioneering how travel brands adapt to these changes.  We created t-Retail, a piece of sophisticated technology to help our customers take advantage of new retail opportunities. Using t-Retail Platform, they now have the ability to differentiate their brand from others, by creating an unlimited combination of offers that their competitors cannot match.

Ownership

OpenJaw was acquired by a large Chinese IT firm, TravelSky last year, giving the company proprietary access to the Chinese market. Given the growth of the Chinese market, this is an incredible opportunity for us and opens many doors. We are the only travel tech company, not just in Ireland, but in the world to have proprietary access to the Chinese market. OpenJaw is one of very few Irish companies owned by the Chinese, which is of strategic significance in the context of growing further, Chinese foreign investment into Ireland.

Ambitions/Performance

OpenJaw has gone from being a startup, to a business processing an annual gross transactional of $2bn on our platform in just over 10 years. We are embarking on an ambitious expansion plan which will see OpenJaw doubling of its workforce to 450 and an increase in annual revenues to more than €40m over the next three years. Despite it’s growth, the entrepreneurial spirit of the company is inherent in the company’s DNA and approach.

Retailing Insight and Understanding

Our travel retailing insights and understanding, provide us with a unique proposition in the marketplace. We can support travel brands provide mobile offerings and uncover data that will help them respond to their customers needs.

In China mobile is everything and therefore as a result, we need to build extensive mobile capabilities in our t-Retail platform for the Chinese market.

While retailing seems to be different in China, the reality is that China, is just that bit further ahead than the West. There are many differences in how retailing is performed in China and OpenJaw is constantly looking to add new retailing models and capabilities to its solutions to meet these needs.

Given the size of the Chinese market and the amount of data that is generated on OpenJaw’s platform for any given booking, the company utilises Big Data techniques to help airlines sell more to their customers.

Why will the company/product do well?

We are already doing well, with year on year increases in performance and profitability. We are uniquely positioned to take advantage of one of the fastest growing developments (retailing in travel) and one of the fastest growing markets – China. Our ownership structure provides us with access to the Chinese market and this is already paying off, with OpenJaw securing four new Chinese airline contracts this year alone, in addition to the four already using OpenJaw’s platform. Chinese airlines see the benefits that can be realised from adopting a retailing strategy and they are embracing what we do. But this growth isn’t just in China, it’s a global development, which we are uniquely poised to take advantage of.

We have introduced the concept of retailing to airlines and we are helping them broaden the offer they provide to their customers. They rely on us for our travel retailing insights and our technology to equip them to take advantage of customer purchasing needs.

Where are you based?

 Our Headquarters is located here in Dublin at Grattan Bridge House on Ormond Quay, just off Capel Street. We have offices in Galway, Madrid, Krakow and Hong Kong and will shortly open a new R&D Centre, in Dalian, China.

When was the company launched?

OpenJaw was established by 3 Irish entrepreneurs in a one roomed office in Dublin in 2002.  The company got its first customer, American Airlines Vacations, within six months of launching. In 2012, OpenJaw introduced the concept of retailing for airlines. This changed the travel tech industry.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

We have over 30 customers globally, including well-known brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Hainan Airlines, Four Seasons Hotels, Avis Budget and Air Miles. Winning and delivering customers of this scale were all significant achievements for the business.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

Global Travel Brands, airlines, loyalty programmes or online travel agencies, who want to broaden their customer offer, by becoming best in class online retailers.

Tell us about your team?

OpenJaw has 230 employees, located at its offices – Krakow, Madrid, Hong Kong, Dublin and Galway. Over 3/4s of our employees are engineers focused on travel technology, with highly specialist and rare skillsets. Each of the offices focus on OpenJaw’s customers in their region.  The workforce is a mix of Millenials and highly seasoned employees who understand the complexities of the travel tech industry.

What are your long term plans for your product/company?

We will double our workforce to 450 and increase annual revenues to more than €40m over the next three years. We are developing a large R&D centre in the city of Dalian in north west China, working alongside our parent company. We will take advantage of the growth in Asia and the tremendous growth in the domestic Chinese market. We are live with four Chinese airlines and we have another four airlines in development.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

My MacBook Air, my iPhone 6 Plus and would you believe, my Nest Learing Thermostat?

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

My iPhone for payment through NFC. This needs to be rolled out generally in Ireland so that mobile payments can be utilised and we can consign cash to history.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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