From Volaris to OYO, why Ramirez chose to have skin in the game at Katanox

JULIANA Ramirez was doing the job at OYO Accommodations when she bought a stop by from the founders of Katanox, the startup supplying immediate API connectivity between sellers and inns.

Ramirez, who has just joined OYO in 2020 right after a 10-12 months stint with extremely reduced price Mexican airline Volaris, realized first hand the worries faced by suppliers such as airlines when it came to supplying resort stock.

Dependable for utilizing Volaris’ membership assistance, hailed as a video game changer for the airline sector, she was also heading up ancillary revenues and she knew what a game changer it could be if sellers these types of as airways could connect to resorts straight, bypass the OTAs, as a result maintaining additional revenues for them selves.

Juliana Ramirez: “I wished I experienced acknowledged them when I was at Volaris simply because I would have utilized their API to bypass OTAs and maximize resort commission revenues.”

“I realized from
performing at Volaris what a big business enterprise the B2B aspect was for OTAs these types of as and Expedia. I’d get my lodge stock from them and get element of
the profits share still a lot of the new guests they got ended up coming from

“So if there had been the capacity for a vendor (like me) to deal right with the hotel and maximise our revenues, I would have been quite fascinated.

“In numerous methods, I
wished I had known them whilst I was at Volaris simply because I would have employed their
API to bypass OTAs and maximize hotel commission revenues.”

So when the founders,
whom she understood from the airline market, frequented her at OYO, it was pretty much a no-brainer.
“They arrived to me and advised me Julie, what
if we re-pipe the present-day hospitality distribution with an API that would
empower hoteliers to offer to whoever and anywhere they want by enabling immediate
marriage with sellers, in a way that hoteliers certainly management their
distribution and trading, although journey sellers – TMC, airlines, publishers – would
increase fee revenues.

“It produced so substantially perception and I was ready to do the job with them.”

However, she didn’t get spherical to utilizing Katanox for OYO since nicely, we know what transpired, Covid strike and OYO closed its Latin American functions.

But her fascination in the startup world experienced been stirred. Without a doubt, it was just after attending WiT Singapore in Oct 2019, in which she learnt of the dynamic happenings in the Asian market – superapps, e-commerce marketplaces, startup innovation – that she made the decision she required a modify from the airline market.

It was a painful decision, she said, supplied she had developed up in airlines “but I felt I wanted to get out there and study a lot more of other sectors and what was going on in the journey startup world”.

At OYO Lodges in
Mexico, she bought a fast and furious lesson in hospitality, as properly as velocity of
execution and chase for scale, and working with a team that comprised talent
from names these kinds of as Google and Facebook. For the young and hungry govt, it
was a heady expertise. “The velocity at which they did items was remarkable, pretty
compared with the tempo at an airline, and it was interesting, a steep learning curve.”

Obtaining herself at a profession crossroads, Ramirez questioned herself – ought to she return to the airline sector or stay in the startup world, moreover there was also the opportunity to get into the burgeoning e-commerce marketplace with brand names like Amazon expanding and superapps like Rappi scaling and wanting to get into journey.

In the meantime, Katanox presented her an advisory function and immediately after a trip to their Amsterdam headquarters in the midst of the pandemic, Ramirez took the determination to join the crew. With skin in the activity, she is now top the professional and profits for the startup founded in 2019 by Georgios Georgiadis, Imre Vogelezang, Paul Beukers and Mendel Senf. (The name Katanox arrives from the term Katanomi (Κατανομή) which means distribution, and the X is for exchange.)

In February 2021,
Katanox raised a 300,000 Euro convertible financial loan from Innovation Fund
Noord-Holland, on leading of funding by early phase investors, to pursue its
ambitions of “helping the recovery and accelerating
the development of the vacation industry”.

According to the enterprise, “The travel
business has found a great deal of advancement over the previous 30 yrs, but innovation in the
sale of vacation items has lagged driving. This is in particular the circumstance in the
partnership involving travel vendors and the services they offer you, these as air
journey and hotel rooms. This marriage is ruled by some closed B2B
marketplaces and B2C platforms.”

To make it much easier for journey sellers to instantly market hotel rooms, the company reported it is establishing a system with scalable inbound links for the again-conclusion systems of resorts. 

Claimed Ramirez, “I was confident after my go to to Amsterdam of the chance to do some thing new and revolutionary and that would subject to the way journey brands can provide lodge rooms directly, with out heading through an intermediary. The system is present day and intuitive and coming from the airline marketplace with the black screen and eco-friendly letters, this is a key modify. Anyone can use this interface.

At the time of this job interview, Ramirez claimed the firm experienced already onboarded a lot more than 1,000 attributes from across the world. She is focusing on business vacation sellers and lodge chains as her initially layer of prospects. The support is provided on a usage model, centered on bookings created, with no established-up price included.

“The value proposition is there. When we converse with travel administration corporations they get instantaneously intrigued in the transparency the alternative brings, whereas chains get fascinated due to the fact this is some thing they have been inquiring for.

“But the
actuality is that the marketplace has a great deal of gatekeepers – the switches, the GDS,
the extranets of x&y seller, or they are relying 100% on the stock of
Reserving and Expedia, generating them just even larger.”

A further challenge is
also the fragmented PMS industry with basically countless numbers of techniques out there.

Acknowledging the
obstacle, Ramirez mentioned, “We are already connected with a bunch of them. After
the PMS relationship is created to our API, it usually takes them, like, five to 10 minutes
to onboard to our platform. So we come to be, in a sense, the resource of real truth.”

She reported the motive this hadn’t happened prior to was the industry was expanding at double digit in many regions and “almost no one experienced seriously had the time to take a phase back to test and greatly enhance their ‘Frankensteins’ of connectivity layers.”

Covid, of course, modified that wondering. “This is the time when motels stepped back and mentioned, I have to optimise my connection – if only I could take management of my stock, choose handle of my channel mix, and not give all my ability to the gatekeepers.

“I consider now lodges are completely ready to consider that selection and, on the other aspect, sellers need to have to make more fee revenues.”

Highlighted impression: The Katanox staff in Amsterdam. Credit history: Katanox