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INFOTECH: Cape Town Based Start-up Selected for Silicon Valley Plug and Play Accelerator Program


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Cape Town based start-up, Hepstar, has been selected to participate in the world’s largest start-up accelerator program. Plug and Play is the most active investment organisation in Silicon Valley, with portfolio companies including PayPal, Dropbox and Skytree.

Hepstar is a cutting-edge travel technology company revolutionising the travel insurance ancillary landscape and was amongst the top 20 start-ups handpicked for the program from over 1000 applicants globally. A strong emphasis on personalisation, e-merchandising strategies, data analytics and machine-learning fuels this exciting disruptor and makes Hepstar not just a serious player, but quite possibly the company destined to set the standards in this niche space.

Hepstar offers travel merchants the benefit of a having a single and central point of call for accessing travel insurance content from multiple providers across multiple residencies and optimises revenue earned from travel insurance sales through the use of innovative e-merchandising. Hepstar’s technology ensures customers receive a travel insurance offering that is relevant to them as an individual and not just a one size-fits-all offering, which contributes to a positive and personalised customer experience.

“We are really excited about this opportunity,” said Hepstar COO Claudia Snyman. “With partners like Turkish Airlines, Carlson Wagolit, TUI Group, Lufthansa and jetBlue Technology Ventures, Plug and Play provides a great opportunity to showcase our capabilities to some of the largest players in the travel sector.”

With no geographical limitations, Hepstar’s footprint already extends across Africa, Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. With its crosshairs firmly fixed on North America, participation in Plug and Play’s travel accelerator program sets the stage for Hepstar to take the continent by storm.

“In regards to new modes of distribution for the travel insurance market, Hepstar’s strategy may be exactly the answer carriers and airlines are looking for,” said Kevin Wang, Head of Travel for Plug and Play Ventures. “Hepstar’s insurance products offer highly specific travel coverage which captures ancillary revenue for our travel partners.”

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