Volkswagen carmaker acquired Voya corporate travel platform on June 18 for an undisclosed amount.
Specifically, Voya, a digital travel assistant that allows workers who have to organize trips to plan and book them through courier, owned by the Czech venture capital firm Rockaway Capital, has been acquired by Volkswagen Financial Services, the financing arm , renting, after-sales services and insurance of the company.
Volkswagen has one of the largest rental fleet management companies in the world, With a presence in 48 countries, and with this movement the company takes a new direction, entering the travel sector.
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“With this acquisition, we are adding business travel management to our mobility offering for our customers,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors of Volkswagen Financial Services, Lars Henner Santelmann.
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Voya’s target is small and medium businesses with an annual travel expense of one million dollars. Voya was founded in 2015 by Florian Stege, Maximilian Lober and Pepijn Schoen.
The mobility-as-a-service trend
But the purchase is especially interesting because it reveals a new movement in the sector towards the Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) concept, which seeks to integrate different mobility services on the same platform, according to Skift.
With her, Volkswagen would be trying to gather a larger customer base to offer not only your rental cars, but also your financial services, such as credit and debit cards, as explained by Lober, founder of Voya, to said publication.
Lober notes that the carmaker is not particularly interested in the travel business, but in offering credit cards to all its customers. In other words, the final focus would be on enhancing its financial services.
Of Volkswagen’s 1.6 million leasing customers, 600,000 are corporate.
In addition, with this new Volkswagen platform you can attract potential customers who have never used their cars.
Mercedes Benz also already offers an application, called moovel, with which it integrates a reservation and payment system for different travel services. Includes cars and trains but not flights or hotels.
It has also recently been revealed that Volkswagen may be considering buying Europcar. The company is also making its way in the autonomous car sector: it has just completed its investment of more than 2.3 billion euros in the autonomous driving startup Argo AI, and it also wants to become a manufacturer solely of electric cars.
This article was published in Business Insider Spain by Alba Asenjo.