April 10, 2024

Stockhead: Bailador bullish on RC TopCo’s prospects to power $300bn+ experiences industry

Via stockhead.com.au

  • BTI says merger of portfolio company Rezdy with Checkfront and Regiondo delivering significant value for shareholders
  • New company RC TopCo to become global booking software leader in the +$300 billion tours and activities market
  • New global growth plan and executive leadership team in place
  • BTI co-founder David Kirk on new board with Bevin Shields appointed an observer


Special Report: Tech-centric capital fund Bailador Technology Investments says the merger in 2023 of portfolio company Rezdy with independent global tours and activities booking software providers Checkfront and Regiondo has provided significant value for shareholders.  

Bailador Technology Investments (ASX:BTI) says the merger between Australian-based Rezdy and Canadian-based Checkfront and Regiondo from Germany created the largest independent tours and activities booking software provider in the world.

BTI enlisted US-based PE fund Vertica Capital, which has deep industry experience and knowledge to secure the merger of the three players.

The new company, called RC TopCo, is poised to become a booking software leader in the $300bn+ tours and activity market.

BTI rolled 100% of its existing investment in Rezdy into RC TopCo and invested an additional  $3.4 million to help the business deliver best in market product and distribution capabilities.

BTI had been an investor in Rezdy since 2015 with its permanent capital model providing the fund with the flexibility to continue investing in businesses and support founders over longer periods.

BTI was a significant early investor in Siteminder (ASX:SDR), first investing in the channel manager platform for hotels in 2012, supporting them through multiple investment rounds and an eventual IPO on the ASX in 2021


Global growth plan

BTI’s co-founder and managing partner David Kirk says RC TopCo has a strong global growth plan, capitalising on the strengths of each individual company, who have joined forces to provide a better offering.

He says they brought three different products and product development pathways to the merger.

“The combined global business incorporates the best booking software features, payments, and distribution software functionality from the three products,” he says.

Kirk says with its enlarged scale RC TopCo can increase its go-to-market presence, including introducing outbound sales in markets that were previously inbound-driven.

“To do this, marketing has been refocused and sales teams have been reorganised,” he said.

“New skills have been introduced to deliver on a refined go-to-market strategy. “

New streamlined best practices have been established across all functions, including product management and development, sales and marketing, people and culture, finance, and customer success to increase efficiency and business performance.


New blood in global leadership team

Kirk says the new management team for RC TopCo is a blend of the management teams from the three merged companies with some important new blood.

The new CEO is Mark Loh, who is based in North America. Loh held the role of chief product officer at Fareharbor for several years, the world’s largest global booking software provider, which was bought by booking.com in 2018.

The board is co-chaired by Lawrence Hester and Zachary Hester – the two brothers who founded Fareharbor.

Kevin Fisher from Rezdy is the chief financial officer and Oliver Nutzel from Regiondo is the chief operating officer.

BTI has one director with Kirk on the new RC TopCo board and one observer in Bevin Shields.

Kirk says BTI’s approach extends well beyond simply identifying and investing in promising information technology businesses, with a relentless and rigorous approach to value capture across the expansion stage.

“RC TopCo is comfortably the largest independent tours and activities booking software provider in the world and is set for continued strong growth in all markets, delivering world-class unit economics from high quality SaaS and transaction revenue,” he says.

“The company has an excellent management team and a very large growth opportunity.”