Small is beautiful when it comes to innovation in Travel: Datalex Labs

August 15, 2017

As organizations scale, they tend to slow down. The overheads of alignment, communication, checks, and balances drive resistance to what was once a finely tuned machine.  This is a concern for Datalex. A successful enterprise enjoying revenue growth and continuing to scale, Datalex has over 600 employees across 4 continents!  

At Datalex Labs, our stated goal is to identify, curate, mentor and select start-ups to integrate into our digital travel commerce platform. The reality is that we are here to help Datalex remain agile, responsive and ready for change.

We are 4 months young, but we are moving at pace. We have a healthy portfolio of start-ups across a diverse set of product categories. Our secret sauce is API Airways, an airline digital commerce platform which we expose to start-ups and airlines alike, to advance the future state of airline retail. It has proven to be a game changer. Airlines can use this platform to foster a culture of innovation internally, while our start-ups get access to real airline data to prove out and sharpen their investor focused prototypes.


Last week, we announced Datalex Labs' API Airways at a Travel Tech Con meetup. Travel Tech Con is a strong community of early stage travel start-ups, who are united by a passion to make the travel experience better. From customer service to travel experience, these guys have no fear or lack of pace in realizing their goals.

Their challenge is that despite the successes of Uber and Airbnb - arguably the two most disruptive, exciting and successful start-ups ever - travel as a category is seen as fraught with risk and a bad bet for investment. 

Why the reticence in travel investment? The travel experience is overburdened by the complexity and scale of the travel business which is frozen by fear of the future.   

There is little excitement in incrementally making something a tiny bit better. This is a shame, as transforming the industry is going to take time.  

Bonny Simi of JetBlue Tech Ventures has shown that running a CVC (Corporate Venture Capital) drives multiples of value to JetBlue. At the meetup she spoke to the investor challenge, and her commitment to educate investors in the importance of the travel start-up.


Our experience with Datalex Labs has shown us that small teams can make significant impacts and in turn, drive multiples of values. The start-up mentality is unrelenting and uncompromising in its desire to achieve success by pure force of will. Datalex Labs has also shown the impact and opportunity of small agile teams, and helps Datalex to remain agile and responsive in its thinking! So here’s to API Airways taking flight to the future! 

Small is beautiful.

-The team at Datalex Labs


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