Expense software startup Ramp launches new corporate Travel marketplace powered by Priceline

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Ramp, the five-year-old expense management software and corporate card startup, doesn’t just want to be the provider of choice for enterprise finance and accounting teams.

No, as of today, it also wants to be the one companies and their employees turn to when booking business travel.

Hence, the company is launching Ramp Travel, a new marketplace for searching, selecting, and booking corporate-approved travel options, in partnership with Priceline, the online discount travel booking website perhaps best known for employing former Star Trek actor William Shatner as its pitchman “The Negotiator” back in the late 90s and early 00s.

The new solution integrates Ramp’s enterprise policy controls and settings, expense automations, and spend analytics with Priceline’s extensive inventory and competitive deals.

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Essentially, an employee whose company has contracted its corporate expense management software and cards with Ramp will get the opportunity to, through the existing Ramp platform and app interfaces, now have the ability to book travel via a Priceline plugin, with all the spend on flights, hotels, and rental cars tracked automatically — without them having to keep track of their receipts manually.

Only those Priceline options that fall within a given company’s expense policy will be shown and available for an employee to book through Ramp. In addition, Ramp Travel waives all booking fees.

Any current or future Ramp customer can use Ramp Travel at no additional cost.

Eric Glyman, CEO of Ramp, emphasized the efficiency brought by the new product in a statement, saying: “Ramp already makes companies’ finances more efficient by streamlining expenses and automating busywork. By integrating travel booking, which has traditionally been a pain point for busywork and bloat, organizations have more time and resources to focus on what really matters: their business.”

A resurgent market opportunity

Corporate travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses currently account for 20% of annual purchases made on Ramp, a figure expected to rise as corporate travel demand returns to pre-pandemic levels. Already, airline bookings this year are up 34%, according to figures cited in the official Ramp Travel announcement blog post.

Ramp Travel’s introduction comes at a crucial time, offering businesses a way to manage this significant expense category more efficiently.

This launch marks Ramp’s entry into the business travel booking sector, aiming to save businesses both time and money from booking to expense reconciliation.

However, Ramp aims to maintain flexibility by still supporting expense tracking and management for company travel booked through other providers.

As such, Ramp maintains integrations with TravelPerk, Corporate Traveler, Uber, Lyft and “many more to further enhance and automate the business travel experience,” according to a spokesperson who emailed VentureBeat.

“Businesses that prefer to book through these providers can continue to do so and still benefit from Ramp’s insights, controls, and automations,” wrote the Ramp spokesperson. “As long as a Ramp card is used, we work in the background to detect spend in real-time, use enhanced data signals to check receipts against compliance policies, collect receipts to automate expense reporting, and streamline accounting.”

A match made in business travel heaven?

Ramp Travel leverages Priceline’s global network of airline partners, accommodation options, and industry-leading rates, offering users streamlined access to exceptional deals on flights and hotels worldwide.

Through its partnership with Priceline Partner Solutions, Ramp Travel ensures that customers can benefit from Priceline’s extensive travel products spanning over 116 countries.

Early praise and testimonials from Ramp customers and Priceline

Staci Robinson, AP Manager at Pair Eyewear, praised the seamless experience provided by Ramp Travel in a statement: “I’ve used so many systems for travel, and Ramp really knows how to take the best parts of each and make it so seamless and efficient. Employees don’t have to navigate to three different places just to book travel, and all their spend when they actually take the trip is all in Ramp, too. From approvals, to coding, to automatically attaching receipts to each trip – it’s brilliant.”

Matthew Shutt, Vice President and General Manager of Priceline Partner Solutions, highlighted the benefits of the partnership: “Priceline’s extensive inventory and highly competitive rates will help users seamlessly find the right travel offering to suit their needs. We’re excited to partner with Ramp to help take the friction out of business travel for corporate customers, and improve the experience for both employees and employers.”

Ramp Travel also offers real-time insights into T&E spend, helping companies prevent non-compliant activities and detect negative spending trends early.

Ramp Travel is designed to address common pain points in business travel — such as cumbersome expense reports, delayed visibility into travel spending, and complicated approval processes. We’ll see if it helps the company in its fight against other business expense management software such as SAP’s Concur and Brex, the latter of which just today announced a wave of AI-powered updates.

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