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Priceline, Ramp sign deal to disrupt ‘archaic,’ high fee business travel booking model

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Ramp, the expense management company recently valued at $7.65 billion, is moving into business travel through a deal with Booking Holdings’ Priceline, as the growing number of corporate spend platforms look to retain and attract customers with additional services.

The new product, called Ramp Travel, utilizes AI and automation to help streamline and simplify the process of booking and doing expenses for business travel, with Priceline providing Ramp users access to airline, hotel, and other travel inventory.

Ramp CEO Eric Glyman said it has seen a significant uptick in businesses on the platform using cards and budget for travel, representing 20% of annual card spend, up from roughly 10% in 2021. That ultimately led Ramp to the Priceline partnership and new platform feature.

“One in nearly every 5 dollars spent on Ramp cards is related to flights, hotels, entertainment related to travel,” Glyman said. “This is a substantial way to just stitch it all together.”

Ramp said it now has more than 25,000 businesses using its platform.

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Ramp, the two-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company (it ranked No. 32 in 2024), has attempted to set itself apart from the growing number of expense management software vendors by not only tracking spending, but also helping companies save money by flagging duplicated expenses, or through contract negotiations. Glyman said that same approach to controls will be applied to travel.

The companies see an opportunity to take share from corporate travel offerings that often rely on high fees that guarantee control over where employees stay, or the carriers which travelers fly with.

Priceline CEO Brett Keller described corporate travel as an “archaic business model” in which the bigger companies negotiate contacts directly with a select set of suppliers, which results in higher rates because of the customer support and service that is then used.

“The modern traveler is much smarter than that now, and they do most of the work themselves, so as a result, they should deserve access to much broader inventory and lower prices,” Keller said.

Travel is the latest feature that Ramp has added in the last year, also rolling out Ramp Intelligence, which generates insights for finance teams and proactively suggests savings opportunities, and Ramp Plus, a new suite of services for enterprise clients such as Shopify.

The spend management space has become crowded, with fellow Disruptors Brex and Navan, as well as Expensify, Mesh Payments, Airbase and Center competing for market share alongside traditional players like SAP’s Concur, making these new additions by Ramp critical to its growth and continued disruption.

Glyman said the push into travel and the other new offerings should help grow its client roster. While a majority of Ramp customers have never raised venture capital, the average size of companies using the platform has more than doubled in the past three years, he said.

“It does not just deepen [Ramp] but it also opens us up to new clients that we can serve today that we couldn’t before,” Glyman said.

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