co-founder Bob Diener talks exits and opportunities

After several successful exits in both offline and online hotel distribution, you could say Bob Diener, president and co-founder of Travel Funders Network, has been there, done that.

He was there and very much involved in the early days of online hotel distribution as the co-founder and president of and later held the same roles at Getaroom, before selling it to Booking Holdings in late 2021. 

Now Diener, alongside long-term business partner David Litman, is building up Travel Funders Network as a B2B wholesaler for hotels. In his words, “there’s always opportunity.”

He spoke about the business during an interview in the PhocusWire studio at The Phocuswright Conference in Florida last month.

“At Travel Funders Network, we really look at gaps in the marketplace, what really isn’t being touched because we don’t want to compete with others in the marketplace,” he said. “We developed a unique network to bring a real value proposition to our hotel partners. Here’s a new channel you can participate in that’s different, creative, that’s innovative and that can bring you new business.”

Diener covered a lot of ground during the discussion, from how it all started with a call-center business and later selling to USA Networks (which later acquired a controlling interest in Expedia) to monetization opportunities for hotels beyond selling rooms and the technology challenges that come alongside the opportunity.

He also touched on the role artificial intelligence will play in hotel booking and had some advice for travel startups.

Watch the full interview with PhocusWire senior reporter Linda Fox in the video below.

The Phocuswright Conference 2023 Executive Interview: Bob Diener

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