Black Diamond Group and LodgeLink Announces $3 Million of Funding from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund
CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LodgeLink, a wholly owned subsidiary of Black Diamond Group Limited (TSX:BDI) is pleased to announce up to $3 million of funding through the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (“OCIF”).
LodgeLink’s digital B2B workplace travel platform links hotels, remote camps and lodges, ground transportation and airlines, duty of care, and other service providers with businesses seeking crew travel solutions. The platform facilitates workforce logistics management, provides better visibility and cost control, and creates digital efficiencies for accounts payable technologies and consolidating payments for an organization’s crew travel. The platform is undergoing continued development to include mobile apps, GPS mapping, automated reporting and predictive analytics, integration of key supplier software (such as duty of care), and direct links to air and ground transportation.
LodgeLink recognized an opportunity in the market for providing a platform to efficiently connect the supply and demand of room and accommodation bookings for companies employing field crews. There was strong early traction on the platform with remote workforce camps in Canada with a number of industrial customers. LodgeLink has since scaled rapidly and now lists more than 2,000 hotels and lodge properties on its platform, representing over 200,000 rooms, and serves more than 500 companies in Canada and the United States.
“LodgeLink is applying innovative technology to transform workforce travel,” said Trevor Haynes, CEO LodgeLink and Chairman & CEO Black Diamond Group. “In partnership with OCIF, we’re recruiting and relocating strong tech-based talent while also developing local expertise in Calgary to further build the capabilities of the LodgeLink platform, which is key to our rapid growth and continued success.”
“The support of LodgeLink by OCIF is an investment in expanding and broadening our tech ecosystem and working with an established industry player to apply technology in solving an industrywide challenge. We have been extremely impressed with Trevor and the entire team at LodgeLink and are excited to support our collective vision of helping to digitize and transform industries in Calgary,” said Mark Blackwell, Chair of the OCIF Board of Directors and Partner at Builders VC.
The OCIF funding will support the expected creation of approximately 300 tech jobs along with an anticipated equal amount of commercial and administrative positions over the next five years in Calgary – including software developers and systems and data analysts. LodgeLink will base its technical operations to support its expanded digital platform in Calgary to service companies with widely dispersed workforces in locations in Canada, the United States and Australia.
“It’s been obvious for a while now that the professional skills already abundant in Calgary could be put to use in innovating cross-sector. LodgeLink is the latest example of that, and the creation of these 600 jobs is just the beginning,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a member of the OCIF Board of Directors.
Despite significantly weaker North American travel volumes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, LodgeLink continues to gain traction with its growing base of over 500 corporate customers. Since July of 2020, LodgeLink has seen significant year-over-year increases in monthly booking volumes, with total bookings running approximately two times higher than the comparative period in 2019. Given the current pace of demand and booking growth, Black Diamond believes LodgeLink is on track to see continued momentum and accelerated expansion into 2021 and beyond.
About Black Diamond Group
Black Diamond is a specialty rentals and industrial services Company with two operating business units - Modular Space Solutions (MSS) and Workforce Solutions (WFS). We operate in Canada, the United States, and Australia. MSS through its principal brands, BOXX Modular, Britco, MPA, and Vanguard, owns a large rental fleet of modular buildings of various types and sizes. Its network of local branches rent, sell, service, and provide ancillary products and services to a diverse customer base in the construction, industrial, education, financial, and government sectors. WFS through its principal brands, Black Diamond Camps and Black Diamond Energy Services, owns a large rental fleet of modular accommodation assets of all types and sizes and a fleet of liquid and solid containment assets. Its regional operating terminals rent, sell, service, and provide ancillary products and services including turn-key operated camps to a wide array of customers in the resource, infrastructure, construction, disaster recovery, and education sectors. The WFS business unit also includes the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, LodgeLink, which operates a digital marketplace for business-to-business crew accommodation, travel, and logistics in North America.
Learn more at www.blackdiamondgroup.com.
LodgeLink is a Calgary-based company that leverages technology to deliver efficiency and cost control for complex workforce travel. We offer an-end-to-end crew travel management solution, from accommodation to transportation. LodgeLink has over 200,000 rooms and more than 2,000 hotel and lodge properties listed on our platform, and access to essentially all properties throughout Canada and the United States. To learn more visit: www.lodgelink.com LodgeLink is a wholly owned subsidiary of Black Diamond Group Limited.
About Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund:
Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary in 2018 to support catalytic investments within the city to help diversify and transform the economy. The Fund is administered by Calgary Economic Development and has a volunteer Board of Directors. For more information, visit https://calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com/about-us/initiatives/opportunity-calgary-investment-fund
Investor and Media Inquiries
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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information set forth in this news release contains “forward looking statements” as defined under applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “continue”, “plans” or similar terminology. Forward looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the Company’s expected job creation and hiring numbers, funding amounts from OCIF, its service offerings and expansion plans. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, and the assumptions on which such forward-looking statements are made are reasonable, there can be no assurances that such expectations or assumptions will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of such statements may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. These risks include, but are not limited to: the impact of general economic conditions, industry conditions, fluctuation of commodity prices, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company's ability to attract new customers and suppliers, failure of counterparties to perform on contracts, industry competition, availability of qualified personnel and management, timely and cost effective access to sufficient capital from internal and external sources, political conditions, dependence on suppliers and stock market volatility. The risks outlined above should not be construed as exhaustive. Additional information on these and other factors that could affect the Company’s operations and financial results are included in Black Diamond Group Limited's annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2019 and other reports on file with the Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities which can be accessed on SEDAR. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as at the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of the forward-looking statements, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.