Business travel tech startups to watch: Lumo

If I said the words travel technology to you, what springs to mind? Uber? TripAdvisor? But what about business travel technology? In 2022, the UK’s business travel sector was valued at £27.5 billion, and around 9 million Brits travel on business every year, so, it’s an important question as the tech impacts not only the travellers, but also the corporates and travel management companies responsible for managing their trips and keeping them safe.

And, when it comes to the world of startups, business travel is an exciting place to be. Four top business travel technology startups – Lumo, TripStax, Zenmer and DwellOptimal – will be taking part in the Business Travel Innovation Faceoff Europe 2024 at Business Travel Show Europe from 19-20 June at ExCeL, London.

Bala Chandram, Co-founder and CEO, Lumo

What do you do? What problem does your innovation solve?

Flight delays impact not just travellers, but people and industries across the entire ecosystem including airline operations, airline and ground crews, travel agencies, car rental companies, airport concessions, travel delay insurers, cruise lines, and more. However, the industry’s response to trip disruption has largely remained stuck in the past, relying on reactive processes and manual “gutfeel” decisions.

Lumo aims to change how the industry manages flight disruptions by delivering AI-powered flight delay forecasts and software tools to the entire travel ecosystem – from travellers and airlines to agencies – to help proactively manage trip disruptions.

Lumo’s deep-learning algorithms combine various factors such as the weather, air traffic control restrictions, historical delays, real-time flight data, and more, to forecast airspace bottlenecks and translate them into potential flight disruptions.

With the help of our tools, users proactively plan for delays, explore alternatives, manage contact centre staffing levels, and ensure a smooth journey.

What are the benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers? 

Surveys have consistently shown unpredictable delays and cancellations are key stressors.

Lumo boosts traveller productivity and wellness, benefiting not just travellers but the companies that they work for. In addition, Lumo’s tools for travel arrangers (executive assistants, meetings and events planners, and travel managers) help everyone stay informed and manage delays more efficiently.

What are your plans for future growth? 

Our vision is to be a reliable data provider to the entire global travel ecosystem. To that end, we plan to expand to new geographies and new use cases, including providing dynamic trip disruption risk estimates to the travel insurance industry.        

What will it mean to you to win the Innovation Faceoff at Business Travel Show Europe?  It would massively help us get wider exposure in Europe, where we think there are interesting applications of our tech with virtual interlining and rail alternatives in the event of a flight delay.