Shep, which was founded in 2016 – and was named one of the Hot 25 Startups for 2019 by PhocusWire – is at its core an internet browser extension that allows companies to make and manage travel bookings outside the parameters of a corporate travel policy; it monitors activity on over 70 different consumer travel sites, enabling companies to save money and improve compliance and safety. It also allows managers to track expenses and provides real-time reporting.
“We’ve had a long relationship with the Shep team,” said John Morhous, FCM Travel Solutions’ Chief Experience Officer, “and have enjoyed following their success. We’re excited to leverage some of this technology into our platforms, as we feel the browser extension is a simple and elegant solution to a problem many of our customers face, which is gaining visibility over spend on travel that happens outside of the managed programmes they provide.”
Flight Centre Travel Group, FCM’s parent company, made some similar moves last year, acquiring travel assistance chatbot Sam and raising its investment in 30SecondsToFly – which was awarded the General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation at the 2019 Phocuswright Conference.