Exclusive Q&A: 88mph founder Kresten Buch on Ahoy investment

Investment company 88mph recently broke a long silence by announcing an investment into flight booking and management app for small businesses, Ahoy.

Though the LinkedIn post, written by the 88mph founder Kresten Buch, detailed the investment, it didn’t have all of the details.

Ventureburn reached out to Buch to ask a few quick questions on why 88mph invested in Ahoy, the amount invested, as well as any future plans the company may have.

Ventureburn: How much was the exact investment? Otherwise, can you give a ballpark figure?

Kresten Buch: 88mph went in together with four other investors. Our contribution was approx R1.5-million.

VB: Do you know what Ahoy will be using the investment for?

KB: They are building a booking.com style engine for flights. Busy business travellers need simple one-tap booking, so they don’t need to bother with 3d-secure or filling in credit card info all the time. They should be able to make changes and cancellation in app.

The ability to create bookings for others as a team leader sending staff around the world, check in on your seat preference, make sure miles are updated. Basically, things leisure travellers don’t care much about, but when you fly more than 3-4 times a month then people care… all these things take time to build with a reliable support system around it.

VB: Why invest in Ahoy over its competitors?

KB: Corporate travel management services like BCD and Carlson Wagonlit are built for corporates with sophisticated travel rules and staff that plan far in advance. Fast-moving companies and expansion teams don’t have time for this process.

Ahoy has teams from big companies who are supposed to use these traditional services, but for these expansion teams, the responsiveness and flexibility matter a lot, so they use Ahoy instead. On the other hand, you have online booking engines like Expedia or Travelstart. They are more flexible, but target mostly tourists, so aren’t able to offer services around the bookings, like easy changes, cancellations, check-ins, miles admin, and 24-hour support.

VB: Are there any other investments on the horizon for 88mpb?

KB: Everything we look seriously at comes via an intro from people we know well. The most interesting investments are where I’ve followed the development of the startup closely for quite a while before they want us to go in. We don’t have resourses to explore the very [early] stage companies that require a lot of help.



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