“Travel retail, you need to read this story”: Frankfurt Airport digital pioneer AOE attracts €13 million private equity investment

Remember the name: Kian Gould, aviation sector omnichannel pioneer

GERMANY. AOE, a pioneer of airport omnichannel retail activities, today announced a €13 million investment from German private equity firm LEA Partners (through the LEA Mittelstandspartner Fund).

AOE, a leading global provider of services and Enterprise Open Source solutions for digital transformation and digital business models, has played a key role in Frankfurt Airport’s acclaimed development of its omnichannel activities.

The partnership represents the first of its kind for AOE and will help to further accelerate the company’s profitable growth, currently running at over +40% year-on-year.

“The introduction of our OM³ Suite, which we first implemented at Frankfurt Airport [see video -Ed], marked an important strategic and economic milestone in our company’s history. OM³ has generated an extremely high level of interest in the aviation industry,” commented AOE Founder and CEO Kian Gould*.

“In order to meet the demand of airports and airlines for the solution, we will continue to scale our development and operations teams while adding to our global locations. In addition, the capital from LEA Partners will enable us to significantly accelerate our product development.”

LEA Partners aims to be a strong and entrepreneurial-minded partner for growing technology and software companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. Within the aviation industry, LEA Partners has established a powerful global network following successful investments in companies such as BEONTRA, a provider focused on planning and optimisation solutions for airports.

[Click on the icon to view Kian Gould’s and AOE’s unique management philosophy]

As part of the LEA investment, BEONTRA Founder and LEA Partners Managing Director Christian Roth will join the AOE Advisory Board. “We will support Kian and his team in establishing the OM Suite as the world’s leading platform for the digitalisation of travel retail by leveraging LEA’s global aviation network as well as our experience gained in one of Europe’s largest IT clusters,” Roth said.

LEA Partners Managing Director Sebastian Müller added, “We are constantly looking for strong, innovative companies that help their clients digitise existing business models or create entire digitally-based strategies from the ground up. We have been impressed by the drive and passion of the AOE team and their vision and ability to develop and implement such an industry-changing, complex and multi-faceted solution in just twelve months from the initial concept phase.

“The company is well on its way in establishing itself as a true industry leader and we are pleased to support the management team as they enter their next phase of continued growth.”

*Kian Gould will be a keynote speaker at the 2017 Trinity Forum in Bangkok (October 25-27)

Aviation Industry Facts & Figures

  • Aviation industry ancillary product at retail: US$30 billion annually
  • Retail’s share of total revenues: Up to 40 per cent
  • Impact of personalising retail offerings: +22% increase in revenue
  • Overall increase in onboard retail revenue: +12.9% annually (on average)
  • Impact of channel user interface optimisation: Conversion improved by +10-20%
  • Percentage of travelers with mobile device: 97%

Sources: Sabre Airlines Solutions, GuestLogix, Frost & Sullivan

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