The pandemic stopped most business travel, but it did not end the relentless and historically futile quest for an online-first intermediary that attracts and keeps loads of small-to-midsized business clients. While many such companies use local corporate travel agencies and some use global ones, a lot of them book with suppliers or consumer-oriented online travel agencies and don't have managed programs.

The sheer number of seemingly untapped small businesses and the fact that they tend not to have their own negotiated rates — thus allowing intermediaries to maximize commissions — makes the market appetizing . . .

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