Revolut enters travel industry in big leap

Karthik Subramanian

Revolut, the currency exchange and payments provider, has done a big leap of faith by a launch into the travel industry with its platform called ‘Stays’.

The new feature was introduced on Tuesday which helps users to book accommodation in hotels and other places using the app in what is seen as a direct challenge to the likes of booking.com and Expedia in the long run. For now, the users would be able to book only accommodation but it is expected that this would be expanded to help users book flight tickets and other such services related to travel.

“As the world begins to cautiously open up, we know everyone is desperate to get away whenever they can — whether it’s to Margate or Mallorca,” said Marsel Nikaj who is Revolut’s head of savings and lifestyle. “We’ve built Stays to make it easy for people to find and book their perfect break in their ideal destination. After 18 months of endless restrictions and lockdowns, we want to give people more and make their money travel further.”

Revolut has been a Europe-based company so far and this Stays feature has been launched only in the UK for now though it would be expanded into other parts of Europe and the US as well in the months to come. The company had been a fintech focussed company for a long time and this switch to travel has been quite a surprise. But the timing seems to be just about right as the world is recovering from the global pandemic and the travel industry, which has been the worst hit with the lockdowns, is also expected to receive a boost in the coming months.

The users who book through the Revolut app would also be getting a 10% cashback on their booking. It seems that Revolut wants to build a super app that users can use to do a variety of functions ranging from financial management to travel for now.

A few weeks back, we had reported that the company was looking to raise around $1 billion to fuel its growth and expansion plans but at the time it was believed that it would be focussing on expansion in the fintech sector but now it becomes clear that it is looking beyond fintech as well. The company has been making losses even till last year but with this spin-off into travel and probably with other spin-offs on the horizon, investors would likely be flocking to the company pretty soon.

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