Impala, a London-based startup aiming to transform technology in the travel industry, has appointed Lionel Paillet as COO as it prepares to scale up.

Paillet built and led the European team at Nest as the business was acquired by Google, and previously headed sales for Apple in 15 European countries during the company’s exponential growth. 

Impala says his experience and outlook slot perfectly into its mission to reimagine the infrastructure of travel and rebuild it from the ground up.

“Today we are at the beginning, but I want everyone to see how much better Impala’s technology can make things,” said Paillet. 

“Looking retrospectively, the success of Apple and Nest’s products feels like it was always inevitable, but it takes real effort to show people that a better way is possible. Travel is overdue reinvention and I’ve joined Impala to make it happen.”

Paillet’s appointment comes after two significant exec hires this summer: Caroline Hudack joined as CMO from Airbnb, where she led marketing for Europe, after 3.5 years in several senior global marketing roles at Facebook. 

Robin Clifford joined as VP of global supply, having previously led supply in Northern Europe for Airbnb and held senior roles at

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“At Impala we’re helping the world reimagine travel and enabling business models that have been impossible for decades. To do this, we’re assembling the best team in travel,” said CEO Ben Stephenson. 

“Lionel is a proven world-class operator and I’m delighted to have someone of his calibre on board.”

Impala, backed by Lakestar, Kima Ventures, Stride VC and Latitude, says its open, transparent system removes the barriers of old travel tech. 

Room sellers can find the right inventory for their business in minutes, rather than months, and hotels can regain control of their distribution, while reaching new partners and markets. 

It says they can join Impala’s platform at a fraction of the time it takes with other players, with zero integration costs.