Tech baron Alex Waislitz believes future is bright for Jayride as post-Covid travel booms
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Airport transfers marketplace Jayride (ASX:JAY) has the support of one of Australia’s most successful tech investors, Thorney Investment Group executive chairman Alex Waislitz.
When Waislitz established his investment company in 1991, he had a vision of being a “thorn in the side” of complacent company managers not delivering full value to their shareholders.
The billionaire has now established himself as a leading investment and stock picker in Australia, and he’s a big believer in JAY.
JAY enables travellers to compare and book rides around the world, with more than 3,700 ride service companies, servicing some 1,600 airports in 110 countries. That means it covers 95% of the world’s airlines.
The company also provides ride booking as a turnkey service to the travel industry via travel agent giants like Booking.com and Flight Centre (ASX:FLT).
Waislitz told Stockhead Thorney first invested in Jayride in late 2019 after engaging with the company for some time.
“Almost immediately Covid devastated the global travel industry,” he said.
“Perhaps counter-intuitively it was Jayride management’s approach to dealing with the impact of Covid that helped convince us to support the company long term.”
Waislitz said the Thorney group now holds just over 19% of Jayride through various entities.
“What impressed us most about Jayride during Covid was the way management acted swiftly and with integrity,” Waislitz said.
“They cut costs, reduced staff, and honoured their commitments.”
“That discipline gave us confidence that as global travel eventually recovered, Jayride could achieve cashflow breakeven in the medium term, enabling them to focus on reinvestment and growth.”
Waislitz said he expects to see signs of significant progress towards its financial and growth objectives in the upcoming Northern Hemisphere summer which will see travel heading closer to pre-Covid levels.
Each year Q4 is JAY’s biggest quarter as the Northern Hemisphere summer peak season comes through, and the company is starting to see that already.
With the recent acquisition of AirportShuttles.com, two-thirds of JAY’s customers are now based in the Northern Hemisphere, specifically Europe and the US, with the company now ideally placed to capitalise on the travel uptick.
In each of the past two years the company grew trips 81% in Q4 vs Q3. This Q4 is forecast to be the largest quarter in JAY’s history.
Waislitz said despite the different travel sectors in which they operate, comparisons are sometimes made between JAY and Webject (ASX:WEB) in its early years.
“Thorney was an early investor in Webjet having first bought into the company around 2005,” he said.
“Our long-term association with them has given us a good understanding and clear perspective on the aggregator travel space.”
Waislitz said clearly there are many and major fundamental differences between JAY and Webjet right now.
“The main one of course is their comparative market cap and target travel market size,” he said.
“However, we believe Jayride has exhibited many of the same attributes we saw in Webjet in its early years.
“If management can keep executing well then Jayride has the potential to also become another successful Australian born player in the global travel space.”
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.