Thursday, June 20, 2024

Waghmar Makes Way for Singh to be Spotnana CEO

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Spotnana co-founder steps down from CEO role; takes chief product officer position and will operate as co-chairman.

Spotnana CEO Sarosh Waghmar announced Monday on LinkedIn that he would transition to the role of co-chairman and chief product officer, making way for Concur co-founder, travel technology investor and Spotnana executive chairman Steve Singh to step into the company’s leadership role.

Tech investor, co-founder of Concur and, now, Direct Travel executive chairman Steve Singh will take Spotnana CEO role.
Tech investor, co-founder of Concur and, now, Direct Travel executive chairman Steve Singh will take Spotnana CEO role.

The move comes at a pivotal moment for Spotnana and for Singh, whose investment firm Madrona Ventures acquired midmarket specialist travel management company Direct Travel in April, where Singh currently serves as executive chairman, and presumably will continue to do so. He has since hired a number of ex-Concur executives to senior posts at the newly acquired TMC.

The Direct Travel purchase took place just weeks after American Express Global Business Travel’s March announcement that the mega-TMC had reached an agreement to acquire financially challenged CWT, one of GBT’s nearest rivals in size and client scope. CWT is the only mega-TMC, to date, that has publicly promoted a partnership to serve the Spotnana technology stack to clients. Whether that partnership will persist past what is a likely acquisition is not known.

What is known, however, is that Spotnana in its own right as a travel management company has gained client traction. Waghmar in a blog post on Monday wrote the company had “launched multiple Fortune 100 companies on our platform” in the first few months of 2024; “deployed our first customers with CWT” and “announced new partnerships with Expensify, JTB Business Travel and Goodwings.”

As usual, Waghmar did not name specific clients, but Walmart global travel procurement
director Theresa Gehler participated as a panelist in a Spotnana-produced
webinar
distributed via BTN in November. Walmart has been a CWT client for a number of years, according to BTN’s Corporate Travel 100

About the transition to a new CEO, Wagmar wrote, “Steve is an exceptional leader with
decades of experience leading high-growth companies. Since Spotnana’s
earliest days, he has believed in our vision to provide an open
platform, and he continues to be a huge believer in Spotnana and in me.”

Waghmar reassured clients, as well, that he and Singh are “fully aligned” in terms of the company’s vision and how to execute it as both a TMC and a travel-as-a-service platform provider to others.

Steve Singh and Madrona Ventures have also invested in recent years in such managed travel technology platform players as Center for payment and Troop for meetings sourcing. A number of other Madrona portfolio companies could fit into travel management and data services targeted to corporates. 

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