StarCite and OnVantage, which recently announced their pending merger, have reported excellent growth for the third quarter, with commerce flowing through their online marketplaces up 51% year to date on a combined pro forma basis and a significant number of new Fortune 500 client wins. The merger is expected to close by the first quarter of 2007.
“We’ve been delighted by the progress at both StarCite and OnVantage. The combined company will have the scale, resources and intellectual capital to serve both meeting planners and the supplier community with a truly global solution,” said StarCite President and CEO Mike Boult. “The market response to the merger announcement and StarCite’s enhanced value proposition has been tremendous. We’ve enjoyed a series of major new business wins, and our momentum continues to grow. We’re looking forward to completing the merger and continuing to further the cause of strategic meetings management around the world.”
To manage change and growth of the soon to be merged company, Boult announced a new addition to StarCite’s leadership team, Edward Steinberg, who joins as Vice President, Human Resources. Steinberg most recently led human resources at Synygy, a provider of incentive compensation software and services. At Synygy, Steinberg helped manage the company’s global expansion, opening and staffing Synygy’s offices in India and Romania. Steinberg joined Synygy as one of its earliest employees and held positions in HR, operations, and business development during which time the company experienced tremendous growth. Under his leadership, Synygy received national recognition for its human resources practices, the Workforce Magazine Optimas Award for Vision. Steinberg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Organizational Dynamics from George Washington University.
Major Client Growth and Expansion
In the third quarter, StarCite and OnVantage signed a number of new corporate clients, including: Allergan, American Financial Group, Coors Brewing Co., Honeywell, LOMA, Network Appliance, Scotts Miracle-Grow, Traveling Together, and several other Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and technology companies. These companies will now benefit from access to industry leading registration tools and enterprise technology for managing meetings spend. Additionally, StarCite provided technology enhancements to a number of its major clients in the financial services industry. These expanded services included adding registration services in Asia and implementing additional meeting consolidation and management tools with Fidelity Investments.
StarCite’s Partner Program continued to foster strong client growth in the third quarter, with StarCite signing a referral and sales agreement with Experient and a distribution agreement with GetThere. StarCite also launched its Partner Certification Program, a first in the industry, and held its first Partner Training with Experient.
Supplier marketplace RFP Growth and Enhanced Supplier Relationships
Both StarCite and OnVantage demonstrated excellent growth within their respective online supplier marketplaces, as business grew on a combined pro forma basis more than 38% in the third quarter of 2006 compared to the same quarter in 2005. Combined, unique RFPs increased more than 47% in the third quarter. At the close of the third quarter, StarCite and OnVantage were providing a total of $19 million worth of lead opportunities to the hotels in their databases on a daily basis, up 40% from the same period last year.
Both companies continued to expand their supplier relationships signing new agreements to provide marketing solutions to the following convention and visitors bureaus: Monterrey, California, Reno-Sparks, Nevada, Tacoma, Washington and Fort Lauderdale, Pensacola and St. Augustine, Florida.
Increased Global Momentum
In the third quarter, StarCite solidified its presence in Europe and highlighted the company’s ongoing international expansion with the opening of its European Headquarters in Dusseldorf, Germany. StarCite also signed a new strategic partnership with London-based Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA), one of the world’s leading independent wholesalers of travel-related products servicing the needs of global and independent tour operators.
StarCite’s International Division continued to expand its global supplier rosters signing a new agreement with PRA Destination Management Companies, Inc., which features 15 branch offices across the U.S., and renewing its marketing agreement with the German Convention Bureau. Other expansions to StarCite’s global supplier network include Glamour Tours in Jamaica, the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik and the Regent Esplanade hotels in Croatia, and the Westin Camino Real in Guatemala. Additionally, LAN Argentina, the Alvear Palace Hotel and the Llao Llao Hotel joined with StarCite’s existing partners in Argentina to form a new sales campaign.