Priceline founder launches cost-saving travel service for small businesses

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Priceline founder Jay Walker has launched Upside.com, a service designed for travelers at small and medium-size businesses that promises savings of 10 to 15 percent over the lowest published air and hotel prices available anywhere.

Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Stamford and New York City, Upside also offers travelers the chance of earning $100 to $200 or more in a free gift card – a practice made possible by the travelers buying their flights and hotel as a bundle for one price.

“The way travelers at small and medium-size companies buy travel is long overdue for a complete overhaul,” said Walker, who serves as Upside’s chairman and CEO. “Companies feel their employees can’t easily find the best prices and often spend more than they should. Employees want all the comfort and convenience they are entitled to when on the road, and feel any money they might save isn’t worth the time, trouble and quality tradeoffs to find and get those savings. And suppliers can’t target discounts to business travelers without undercutting their own published retail prices to everyone else.”

Walker, who launched Stamford-based Priceline.com in 1998 and left the company in 2000, said his new service solves all those problems.

The new firm, built on $50 million of research and development, provides full domestic and international coverage. Upside “will be one of America’s largest radio advertisers in 2017,” according to a press release, and will be involved with targeted advertising on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and other platforms.

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