Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bravofly Acquires Map2App

BravoFly Rumbo Group N.V., the Swiss multinational operating in the electronic tourism and recently listed on the Six Swiss Exchange, present in Italy with the brand Volaregratis, has acquired the assets of Map2app, a Bologna-based startup focused in the creation of apps for touristic guides allowing customers to turn any destination into an app. 

Map2app is the easiest way to create and manage tourist guides for smartphones (iPhone and Android) and is currently used by tour operators, tourism offices, event organizers, tourist portals, publishers and web portals in over 20 countries. In 2 years, thanks to Map2app, were produced over 500 app, which have been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. The company mission is to enable even the smaller firms to promote their territory in a modern and functional way.

 Even though the financial terms of the operation were not disclosed, it is a case of "acqui-hire", or acquisition, in particular team ("talent acquisition"). The goal of the acquisition is to expand BravoFly expertise in the mobile space: indeed Map2app has developed a web-based platform that enables its customers to create mobile travel guides. It does not require any technical skill and it is designed for marketers. You just need good content, a great destination to promote (city, festival, museum… anything!) and your imagination and in few hours you can create a professional app for iPhone, Android and HTML5 devices.
This acquisition represents a unique
growth opportunity for Map2app. Led by Pietro Ferraris the startup will take full advantage both from the business potential represented by a very large user base, as well as the possibility of working within a large company able of enhancing their ideas and products for the mobile sector travel.
Moreover the acquisition of the BravoFly Rumbo Club will allow the group to provide Map2app customers with a comprehensive travel experience by expanding its range of services with high added value through the mobile channel and geolocation. Map2app developed brilliant ideas that simplify the creation of mobile guides that are extremely aligned with the long-term strategy of Bravofly to provide their customers a unique travel experience. 

The Map2app project started in late 2011 and the company was founded in 2012 by CEO Pietro Ferraris. The startup team wanted to put anyone in a position to promote their territory through an app, that had to be beautiful, useful, personalized and at a cost that could compete with printing maps and brochures. The startup developed the product between Bologna and San Francisco and at the end of 2012 it went live with Map2app. In San Francisco we found advisors, a seed round and the first customers. In Bologna it found programmers and started a dialogue with several Italian companies interested in what it was creating. In 2014 the meeting with BravoFly (Volagratis in Italy), at first being their suppliers and the last quarter of 2014 it began to explore the possibility of an acquisition. 

Map2app was funded with seed capital of MTS Venture Partners, led by Marco Marinucci, who is also the founder and CEO of Mind the Bridge Foundation, a nonprofit organization that brings together the most promising startup with parnter and investors in Silicon Valley (California). MTS is now finally released from the startup capital.