Tour OperatorsBangkok-based firm sees opportunities for consolidation and winning market share amid Covid.

Exo Travel wants to be 'world's largest DMC'

Exo Travel is seeking capital and like-minded partners to achieve its vision of creating a global DMC.
Exo Travel is seeking capital and like-minded partners to achieve its vision of creating a global DMC.

Exo Travel has unveiled its vision of becoming the world's largest DMC, having appointed Cambon Partners, a M&A investment bank, to raise capital for its global expansion strategy beyond Asia.

Although its operations have been impacted by Covid, the Bangkok-based firm — which recorded annual revenues of more than US$150 million in FY19 — expects to recover by 2022.

“We are looking for like-minded, high quality partners ready to seize the post-Covid business opportunity that we anticipate and are prepared for. We see Covid as an opportunity to consolidate, win market share and then grow back better and stronger than before,” said Hamish Keith, CEO of Exo Travel.

The buildup plan, according to Keith, is to integrate compatible companies that complement its existing destinations in Asia that include Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.

On the acquisition side, Exo Travel will look for companies that appeal to existing customers, as well as bring cross-selling opportunities, he added, pointing to its acquisition of Insight Borneo in Malaysia where it was able to increase revenues by 100% within a year.

The company’s management are already in advanced talks with DMC owners in South Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Exo said it has developed innovative software that will provide a global booking platform with dynamic itinerary building with instant quotations and booking functionality for tour operators and travel agents and can be easily connected by XML to new acquisitions.

“As well as connecting new partners onto our technology platform, we see significant synergies and potential to increase efficiencies and generate business by cross-selling destinations and sharing key-functions such as sales, marketing and back-office," Keith added.

"We are confident that by combining forces to create a global DMC we will be able to realise much more value than the sum of each component part."

The company revealed that it has received a positive initial response from potential parties and is already in initial talks with various PE funds, including financial and strategic investors.

In the next phase, expected to be in five years, the company may consider an IPO to access more capital and to grow in more destinations.

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