Szallas.hu, the largest online hotel reservation platform in Hungary, merged last year with the Romanian hotel reservation platform, Travelminit.ro. The process began two years ago and was accelerated in 2020, despite the pandemic situation and general uncertainty in the global tourism industry. The value of the transaction remains confidential, but in these two years of transition the partners have invested approximately 1 million euros in the technological solution, in the expansion of the property database and in marketing campaigns.
The Szallas.hu Group also owns other reservation platforms in the region, such as Szallas.hu in Hungary, Hotel.cz and Spa.cz in the Czech Republic, and Noclegi.pl in Poland. The group’s goal is to become the largest regional hotel reservation platform, focused on the local needs of hoteliers and tourists. The group’s total gross booking value exceeds 150 million euros and involves over 300 employees. PortfoLion Capital Partners (part of the OTP Bank Group) became a major shareholder in Szallas.hu in 2015 and supported the Group’s growth through acquisitions and mergers.
Travelminit.ro is one of the largest hotel reservation platform developed in Romania and was founded in 2014 by Ferenc Rigo and Laszlo Buzogany. The platform is dedicated exclusively to the Romanian market, with almost 6700 listed properties, and registering an average increase in sales of 350% in the last 4 years.
Focus on Romania
„Our goal is to transform Travelminit.ro into the number 1 player on the hotel reservation market in Romania and to continue to offer Romanians the possibility to book chalets, pensions or hotel rooms by reflecting the local user needs. Through this merger we have access to extensive experience in the area of online hotel reservations as well as financial resources to ensure the development of the platform. If the crisis worked as a brake on many tourism businesses, we used it as a pivot and an accelerator, and we managed to increase our market share by at least 50%, and grow our property database. partners with over 3000 hotels and pensions in Romania.” said the co-founders of Travelminit.ro, Ferenc Rigo and Laszlo Buzogany.
Regional know-how and solutions applied to each country
“Our goal is to become the largest OTA platform in Central and Eastern Europe, to use our experience, know-how and financial resources to gain market share and to increase our inventory and offers focused on local needs, specific to each country. Travelminit plays an important role in this merger, being the fastest growing platform in the country. With this merger, Travelminit will be able to offer its travellers a wide range of offers in the thermal baths of Hungary, city breaks in the Czech Republic or holidays on the Croatian coast.” said Jozsef Szigetvari, CEO of Szallas.hu Zrt.
1 million euro investment in the platform
Despite the uncertain situation in the field of tourism, Travelminit.ro continued the investment in the platform in 2020. Thus, approximately 1 million euros has already been invested in the technological solution, in human resources, marketing and in the expansion of the property database.
Travelminit has now a strong investor, which is particularly beneficial in a time burdened by Coronavirus. PortfoLion Capital Partners launched its latest fund at the end of 2020, managing a total of EUR 220 million and 28 companies in the EEC region.
“So far, we have focused on Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. Travelminit was our first investment in Romania in the process of searching companies with strong ambitions, global growth opportunities and qualified management. Romania has an increasingly strong startup ecosystem, therefore is part of our target market.” said Zsolt Mihaly, investment manager at PortfoLion Capital Partners.