Impressions and Other Assets/Group page/CS-4097_Group_page_headers_About_Us_agnoip

About us

The HolidayPirates Group and its local channels are the most popular travel brand on social media. Since our inception in 2011, we’ve established ourselves as the preferred search app and portal for millions of travel enthusiasts, explorers, and holiday makers in Europe and North America by providing followers and users with the best value for money travel deals.

The company has grown into an entity that can boast 30 million monthly visits (sessions), 10 million app downloads, close to 11 million Facebook fans and and 2 million Instagram followers and has launched services across 10 countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the UK and the United States) in 7 different languages.

Headquartered in Berlin, HolidayPirates has also established offices in further locations such as London, Paris, Seville, and Boston. The multi-award-winning platform’s editorial team, aided by advanced algorithms, detect the best, and often unique travel deals, from packages, flights, and hotels through to car hire, holiday homes, luxury stays and weekend breaks.

What we do

Founded in 2011, The HolidayPirates Group represents one of the most successful online travel companies in Europe and has built an unparalleled audience on social media. Its value proposition of sharing “best value-for-money travel deals” rapidly gained popularity and elevated HolidayPirates to become the preferred go-to app and portal for millions of travellers.

HolidayPirates has succeeded not only in Germany but also in Austria, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the United States.

Our brand promise is to inspire our fans and followers with astonishing and breathtaking travel deals every day. To satisfy our customer’s holiday requirements, and offer them a unique value proposition tailored to their needs, we constantly develop and expand our product portfolio. Not only do we search innumerable databases for cheap flights, hotels and travel packages, we also look for vouchers, bus and train deals. In addition, through our partners' solutions we provide thousands of offers from well-known tour operators and airlines.

HolidayPirates fans stay up to date with great deals by setting custom alerts on our app, on WhatsApp, following us on social media, subscribing to our newsletter or simply visiting one of our websites.

History

  • In 2011, Igor Simonow founded Urlaubspiraten, the German version of the company’s service, where he started publishing travel deals online.

  • In 2012 HolidayPirates was launched in the UK and later that year, Igor Simonow partnered up with Sebastian Kaatz to launch the actual legal entity HolidayPirates GmbH in Berlin.

  • In 2013 PiratinViaggio was launched in Italy as well as Urlaubspiraten in Austria and Facebook was established as the company’s marketing platform. The company’s staff has grown to 10 employees.

  • 2014 saw travel e-commerce expert (and future CEO) David Armstrong assume the new role of COO to internationalise and scale the business. This is the year VakantiePiraten launched in The Netherlands, WakacyjniPiraci started in Poland, and VoyagesPirates set sail in France.

  • In 2015 the pirate crew counted 40+ members. ViajerosPiratas was launched in Spain and Ferienpiraten started in Switzerland. The Group also began integrating booking capabilities of preferred partners.

  • In 2016 HolidayPirates took part in the ITB, the largest tourism exhibitions and the first local Youtube channel was launched. This is the year in which David Armstrong became CEO of the Group and the co-founders started stepping out of the day-to-day operation.

  • In 2017 WhatsApp and Instagram were kicked off in several markets and TravelPirates started for the US-market in Boston. The Group’s staff amounts to 150 globally.

  • In 2018 and 2019 the Group's annual GMV’s are steadily on their way to hit half a billion Euros amounting to 452 and 480 million Euros respectively. At its peak the pirate ship had the hands of 220 mates on deck.

  • In 2020 HolidayPirates adopted a permanent "remote first" policy, allowing employees the flexibility to work from home or anywhere else, while keeping the option of working from any of the offices as and when they feel it would be beneficial.

  • 2021 the company replaced its tech stack to facilitate the envisioned strategy and ensure the scalability of the business model. The pirate crew stood together and weathered the pandemic storm without having to raise funds or take loans.

  • In 2022 the world has finally opened up again and HolidayPirates is back at the avant garde to help fulfil travel dreams all over the world. The Group is incredibly well positioned to satisfy the wanderlust that has been put on hold over these past two years.

Our Captains

Brigitte Kraus – Head of Market, DACH

As Head of market DACH, Brigitte has been responsible for trade partnerships and sustainability since October 2022. Brigitte has been on board at HolidayPirates since 2017 and as former Head of Key Account Management DACH, she was instrumental in the development of the trade partnerships on an international level. Before becoming part of HolidayPirates, she worked for more than ten years in various positions at Inter-Connect Marketing GmbH, where she represented international hotel chains and cruise companies.

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David Armstrong – CEO

David is CEO of HolidayPirates Group and joined the company in 2014. Since then he has been leading the company's global strategy and international expansion.

Prior to HolidayPirates, David has a longstanding track record in CEO positions throughout the travel industry, including several subsidiaries of FTI Group. Notably, he also co-founded the flight booking portal fly.de and was on the launch team of ocean24.com.

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Mara Zatti – Head of Brand & Communications

Mara Zatti has worked across different fields within the publishing and editorial sector. Her classical education (Master of Arts in Italy and a PhD in classical archaeology in Germany) led her to teach at various universities and to work as a journalist and later video journalist for the Spotlight Verlag publishing house in Munich. In 2013, Mara joined the online language learning platform Babbel, based in Berlin, where she acted as Senior PR Manager and Team Lead for Southern Europe and Latin America. In 2020 she joined the HolidayPirates Group and resumed a teaching role at the Sole24Ore Business School, focusing on Digital PR.

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Oliver Feucht-Zwerger – Head of Finance & Business Intelligence

Oliver studied Accounting, Finance and Quantitative Marketing Management to achieve his Diplom in Berlin. After this ,he began his career at EY in Berlin and ultimately became an Audit Senior before moving to Alcon in the role of an Analyst in 2013.

In 2014 Oliver Joined Zalando where he rose to the position of Senior Operations Controller and les the team in this capacity. Oliver came aboard at HolidayPirates in 2019, where he currently acts as the Head of Finance and BI.

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Pablo Santaella Robles – Head of Market, Spain

Pablo Santaella accumulated considerable experience across diverse fields such as logistics, with a Specialist role at Airbus, and Account Executive for events management at TUI Group.

Pablo joined HolidayPirates as Head of Market for Spain, in 2015. Pablo acts in his capacity as head of market for Spain alongside Álvaro Yépez Muñoz.

Phil Salcedo - Head of Market, UK & North America

After reading Law at London University, Phil spent his early career building the BBC's online presence in motoring, TV, and film. Following roles in oil exploration and yacht chartering in Canada and Australia, he has since amassed over 15 years’ experience in the online travel sector, building and training award-winning teams across Europe, North America, and APAC, with a focus on travel, events and dining.

Phil joined HolidayPirates in September 2017 and became the Head of Market for the UK & North America in 2020.

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Simon Erdem – Head of Product & Development

Simon is a Product Leader with a focus on consumer brands and fast scaling organisations and more than 10 years of experience. Before he joined HolidayPirates in 2021, he worked in similar positions for Rocket Internet and Axel Springer where he gained experience in both the Publishing and the E-Commerce industry. Currently, Simon is responsible for the Product and Development departments at Holidaypirates to elevate the business even further.

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Stefano Bergamaschi – Head of Market, Italy

Stefano has always been passionate about travel, graduating with a degree in tourism before gaining over 8 years of experience in the online travel industry, starting at Expedia.

Stefano joined HolidayPirates in 2015 as a Content Manager for Italy and rapidly rose up the ranks to become Content Lead in 2018 before moving to his current role as Head of Market for Italy in January of 2020.

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Stéphane Renard – Head of Market, France

With many years of experience in the travel industry, Stéphane initially studied at the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris before entering the world of publishing in 2000, with Hachette Tourisme and the Guide du Routard. In 2008, Stéphane moved to Travelzoo, where he earned the position of Head of Publishing for France and International Key Accounts. He is passionate about the world of media.

In January of 2022, Stéphane came aboard at HolidayPirates as the Head of Market for France.

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Vivien Schwarz-Elbelazi – Head of People & Culture

Since 2016, Vivien Schwarz-Elbelazi’s position as Head of People & Culture has revolved around our pirates and our culture. Arrrr. This includes the areas of Human Resources, Recruiting, Culture and Workplace. She started her career in 2007 in the Human Resources department at UnitedPrint and took the next steps at Zalando from Senior HR Manager to Recruiting Lead of the Zalando Group. In addition, Vivien Schwarz-Elbelazi is a passionate systemic coach.

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Carlo Speth - Head of Market, DACH

Since October 2022, Carlo has been responsible for editorial content and social media strategy as Head of Market DACH. He has been part of the HolidayPirates Group since January 2016. As he was the former Editor-in-Chief DACH for many years, Carlo knows the wishes of users like no other. The experienced travel expert has already lived in Spain and Vietnam and has traveled to a total of 52 countries. He is a passionate diver and knows the culinary hotspots of every vacation country like the palm of his hand.

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