Gett's CEO Dave Waiser talks about the company's plans to list on the Nasdaq and his vision for the future of corporate ground transportation management.
Ground transportation management platform Gett has joined a growing list of travel and events companies
making major announcements around going public on stock markets, the most
recent of which also includes Cvent. Like that company, mobility specialist
Gett has decided to make the move by merging with a special purpose acquisition
company (SPAC) rather than going down the initial public offering (IPO) route. The deal
will provide Gett with up to $253 million in proceeds from the trust account of
Rosecliff Acquisition Corp (the SPAC involved) and up to $30 million in private
investment commitment from Rosecliff’s sponsors, with the company planning to
list publicly on Nasdaq. CEO Dave Waiser recently spoke to Molly Dyson
about why his company made the decision to strike a deal with a SPAC and what
it means for the future.
BTN Europe: What is the reasoning behind merging with
Rosecliff rather than attempting an IPO?
Dave Waiser: We thought going public would be a very good
move for a company focused on the B2B space. The corporate ground
transportation management market is thought to be worth in excess of $100
billion globally, and our offering is showing a lot of traction, with more than
a quarter of Fortune 500 companies being our clients, so we think the time is right.
Spend management in ground transportation for corporates is a greenfield. But
we’re tiny relative to the scale of the opportunity and we believe going public
will allow us to harness that opportunity.
Since the opportunity is ripe now and we need to move as
quickly as possible, we decided to partner with Rosecliff. They also have a lot
of expertise in corporate America, which is exactly what we need as we aim to
grow in the US.
BTN Europe: What do you plan to do with the funding included
in the merger?
Waiser: It’s a combination of things. This is great capital
to execute all of our plans – continue expanding, continue to grab market share
and provide more value to more clients, continue aggregating supply. All of
that is covered by the fundraising we’re doing with Rosecliff.
BTN Europe: So you’re looking for new customers as well as
new supply partners?
Waiser: Yes. Our business model is such that you have a win-win
situation for all involved. We are a marketplace and there’s two sides to that.
One is our partners or vendors and the other is our clients, who are businesses
and enterprises. Our partners receive a high volume of high quality, high
value demand from corporates and we don’t charge them for that. Then our
corporates enjoy a variety of vendors, which enables them to have wider
coverage of rides with faster pick-ups and better choices – so for example they
can prioritise green vehicles when making a booking. These days it can be very
difficult to find a car with one single provider, so for us to have content
from multiple providers aggregated into one management platform helps our
clients get a better service.
The innovation and next generation of transport happens now.
The last 10 years was all about building these different options and now you
have our new tech that sits on top of it all. We’re not an operator. We’re
partnering with them but we’re not one of them. We’re doing something totally
different. When you sit on top of it all you can deliver totally different
value – it’s not about whether one vendor is better than another, it’s about
allowing our corporate customers to manage all of their ground transportation.
Partners who are innovative and are the quickest to respond benefit the most.
BTN Europe: If you don’t charge suppliers to get in front of
corporates, what is your revenue model?
Waiser: We charge corporates for the service, which as I
mentioned offers them broader coverage, faster pick-ups and often savings. The
savings don’t necessarily come from the providers, but from the fact that they
can manage their travel policy across all of the supply available to them. It’s
not always about finding the cheapest ride option. Sometimes the simple act of
being able to apply your travel policy is enough to make savings. Most of the
fraud you see in business travel happens in unmanaged spend. This is where our
value lies. Just by applying the travel policy to ground transportation, we’ve
seen clients save on average 25 per cent of their entire spend, but in some
cases this is as much as half their spend.
BTN Europe: Can you explain a little more about how your
platform in particular helps with spend management?
Waiser: Well we really had to start from the ground up by aggregating
as much content as we could. Once you have that base, you can start adding
digital tools on top of it for the corporates. The most obvious place to start was
travel policy. We have this entire supplier base and now you can aggregate one
invoice – something that was incredibly difficult for companies – and now you
can allocate costs to different projects. And of course with that comes
reporting across the entire supplier base. It means travel managers can give an
answer when they’re asked how much their company spends on ground transportation.
I’m surprised at the number of corporates that can’t come up with a figure when
they’re asked that question. It puts into perspective how bad the current
BTN Europe: What is your vision for the future of the
Waiser: It might sound radical, but what we really want is
to become a standard for corporate ground travel just as Zoom has become the
standard for corporate communication. Based on our product offering and our
client base, I believe we have a great opportunity to do that. We want to keep
delivering value for our clients so they can focus on what they do best. For
our partners, we want to continue driving that $100 billion in spend in their
direction. And of course we want to keep adding supply partners in new markets,
which we can do fairly quickly and without much effort. We’re launching in the
US and in the first half of 2022 we plan to launch in more countries in western
Europe. The more countries we cover, the more value we can provide our clients
because it means they have full control of their spend in those countries. We
won’t stop until we have full coverage across the globe. We like to think we’re
building the first global grid of ground transportation and connecting
corporates with local supply no matter where they go. Cross-border bookings are
not the biggest area of the business, but it’s something we automatically offer
to all of our clients.