WESTON, FL – May 10, 2017 – Monaker Group (OTCQB: MKGI), a travel and technology company focused on the alternative lodging rental (ALR) market, reported results for its full fiscal year ended February 28, 2017.
Fiscal 2017 Operational Highlights
- Introduced the Monaker Booking Engine (MBE), the first customizable, alternative lodging booking engine with instant booking of vacation homes, villas, chalets, apartments, condos and castles. As a cloud-based platform driven by proprietary technology and contracted properties, MBE dynamically controls ALR inventory, allowing users to search and instantly book their reservation, versus the traditional industry method of waiting with uncertainty for the property owner to respond to a booking request.
- Added hundreds of property managers and homeowners to the Monaker travel network, resulting in 1.2 million ALR properties across Europe, and Asia North America, South America and the Caribbean, available for instant booking via the Monaker platform. Monaker is in the process of onboarding additional properties that are expected to increase its total global inventory to more than 2 million.
- Completed development and released the application programming interface for MBE, which provides a B2B solution for other travel companies to access Monaker’s ALR properties for display and instantaneous booking via their website or internal booking system. The API allows extensive customization, including types of properties, rental rates, commissions, user fees, geographic regions and other settings. This unique real-time access to a wholesale source of ALR properties has attracted several major travel distributors looking to integrate with the MBE platform.
- Signed the first major industry partner to integrate MBE into its travel booking platform. As the nation’s leading-edge travel technology provider that propels some of the biggest brands in travel, the partner serves leading airlines, hotels and resorts, tour operators, travel agencies, tourist bureaus, theme parks and other suppliers worldwide. With more than $1 billion in bookings made annually through its platform, it is the premier source for leisure travel agents to expertly research, market and sell vacations to their clients. Monaker’s ALR inventory gives its network of more than 70,000 agents an easy, commissionable option for selling vacation rentals to their clients.
- Launched Phase 1 of NextTrip.com, the company’s consumer facing website and mobile app where consumers can instantly book and confirm ALR properties simultaneously with airlines, car rentals, hotels, tours and activities. The site features more than 1.2 million instantly bookable ALR properties and 200,000 hotels, 400+ airlines, all major car rental companies, 10,000 tours and activities, as well as unique social media features.
- Developed and launched the preview version of the NextTrip mobile app for iOS and Android. The apps will become fully functional with enhancements and upgrades at time of the NextTrip Phase II launch.
- Travel Rewards Club, a new travel service and loyalty program, was launched in partnership with Recruiter.com, a leading global recruiting service and job market technology platform. The program provides Recuiter.com members a variety of special benefits, including discounted travel and vacation packages offering a “best price” promise, customizable options to build trips with friends and associates, complimentary flight insurance, access to fast pass visa and passport services, and exclusive savings on luxury travel and experiences.
- Strengthened Monaker’s corporate governance though the appointment of additional, highly-accomplished independent directors to the board, Simon Orange and Bob Post. The appointments and the subsequent creation of new governance committees advanced the company toward meeting the requirements for up-listing to a major stock exchange.
Fiscal 2017 Financial Highlights
- In fiscal 2017, the company transition from a holding company with various assets to focusing primary on developing and deploying the Monaker ALR platform. The transition resulted in write-offs and restructuring which generated $40 million in deferred tax credit against future earnings
- Focused primarily on the launch of the new ALR booking engine and partner integrations, the company effectively operated as a development stage company during fiscal 2016 and reported nominal revenues.
- To fund development, during fiscal 2017 the company raised $3.0 million from equity offerings and received $1.3 million from the exercise of warrants. Subsequent to the end of the fiscal year, the company raised an additional $1.6 million from an equity offering, of which $300,000 was represented by members of the company’s board of directors. Directors and insiders currently represent more than 65% of Monaker’s shareholder base.
- Complete details of the company’s results for the fiscal year are available on the company’s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in the financial information section of the company’s website.
Fiscal 2018 Outlook
- In fiscal 2018, the company looks to take advantage of the growing demand for alternative lodging and the strong growth in digital travel sales. The ALR industry is expected to grow at more than 7% CAGR to $198 billion in 2021, according to Technavio, making it the fastest growing sector of the travel industry. Meanwhile, worldwide digital travel sales will to climb at a 9.7% CAGR to top $817 billion by 2020, says eMarketer.
- NextTrip Phase II is targeted for release in late summer 2017, which will include comprehensive group planning in addition to booking for ALR, air, car, hotel, tours, restaurants and cruises. The NextTrip planner will allow users to import bookings from other websites, find nearby attractions, organize the details of a trip, and split costs among co-travelers. Users are also expected to benefit from the implementation of artificial intelligence that will assist with search and booking, and eliminate the typical hours involved in research and vacation planning. New social media capabilities will allow individuals and groups to search, share, converse and recommend vacation destinations, and earn instant cash-back rewards when they book and contribute to the site.
- Monaker is in the process of uploading and certifying additional inventory from secured contracts, which is expected to increase its ALR inventory of properties from 1.2 million to more than 2 million.
- In the second fiscal quarter, the company expects to launch its first partner integration of the MBE as the industry’s first B2B, customizable, real-time, alternative lodging booking engine. Upon launch, the company anticipates a ramp up in ALR booking activity to generate substantial revenue growth over the remainder of fiscal 2018 and beyond. Additional partner deployments are expected to follow, which will further drive revenue growth.
“Of all the major developments in fiscal 2017, the most significant was our first industry partnership that will integrate the Monaker Booking Engine into a major travel platform,” noted Monaker chairman and CEO, Bill Kerby. “Second was the introduction of NextTrip, which will showcase the power of our MBE as a model for our partners, as well as incorporate advanced features that will make the site truly unique in our industry.
“The major challenge with ALR sites, even with Airbnb, is that many properties are not instantly bookable; that is, travelers must often wait indefinite periods of time for an owner to confirm their booking. For the same reason, online travel agencies, tour operators, and airline and cruise originators increasingly require ALR providers to offer instant bookings.
“The second major challenge for ALR platforms has been that no one has yet offered along with ALR the full spectrum of mainstream travel services, like flights, conventional lodging, timeshares, rental cars, cruises, and tour and land packages. Travelers where forced to cobble their trip together from various sources, and usually with unsatisfactory results. NextTrip and MBE solve both these issues, with MBE customization via our API providing Monaker a first-mover advantage in the B2B space.
“Given the rich features, we expect NextTrip and MBE will appeal to a far greater number of travelers and wholesale travel providers than any other ALR source, and thereby generate significant booking revenue for Monaker in fiscal 2018. We expect the majority of this revenue will be derived from our MBE and travel wholesale partners, as we see the market demand for such a wholesale ALR solution dwarfing that of our direct-to-consumer NextTrip offering.
“Our revenue outlook is further buoyed by data from independent experts who report that the ALR industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel sector, with digital travel sales also climbing at a phenomenal rate over the next several years.
“In all, we wrapped up fiscal 2017 and launched into the new fiscal year with a clean capitalization structure, nominal short-term debt, solid funding, and an ALR platform that can uniquely service the unmet demands of both B2B and B2C customers. Looking ahead, we believe our MBE and NextTrip will truly be travel industry game changers.”
Monaker Group is a technology-driven travel company focused on delivering innovation to alternative lodging rentals (ALR) market. The Monaker Booking Engine (MBE) delivers instant booking of more than 1.2 million vacation rental homes, villas, chalets, apartments, condos and castles. MBE offers travel distributors and agencies an industry-first: a customizable instant booking platform for ALR. Monaker’s NextTrip.com B2C website, also powered by MBE, is the first to offer significant instantly bookable ALR products along with mainstream travel products and services all on a single site. NextTrip also features rich content, imagery and high-quality video to enhance a traveler’s booking experience and assist in the search, decision and buying process for both individuals and groups. For more information, visit www.monakergroup.com or www.nexttrip.com.
Important Cautions Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning the plans and expectations of Monaker Group. These statements are only predictions and actual events or results may differ materially from those described in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties, some of which are out of our control. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, or the expectations of future growth may not be realized. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and Monaker Group undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All forward looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the “Risk Factors” and other cautionary statements included in Monaker Group’s annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including, but not limited to, the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended February 28, 2017 which has been filed with the SEC and is available at www.sec.gov.
Company Contact Richard Marshall
Director of Corporate Development
Tel: (954) 888-9779
Investor Relations Contact
Ronald Both or Grant Stude
Tel (949) 432-7557