What problems does it solve?
Travel is the one thing so many of us save up for every year and so it puzzles me that the booking experience sucks so much. We deserve better!
Most people are shocked when they learn the average person visits 38 websites trying to book a trip.
All that bouncing around the web creates travel booking anxiety that builds up from reading ugly reviews, checking hotel options and comparing prices.
Our goal is to create digital tools that will cut that anxiety and bring joy to travel booking.
We started with our reviews app, Triptease Magazine, then launched Digital Postcards, our social media referral tool for hotels. This year we’ve launched Price Check, a smart widget that sits on hotel websites, displaying live prices from across the web.
It gives consumers confidence to book direct and saves hoteliers from paying hefty third party commissions.
Is this a crowded market?
Online travel continues to be the single biggest market on the internet by a long way. The rate of growth is staggering.
While there are lots of software as a service providers, the area we’ve uncovered with our latest tool Price Check is relatively niche.
Being an add-on to software vendors in the market is a new approach that we are finding quite uncrowded right now.
What are your goals?
I’d like to go to bed earlier every night! That aside, our main goal is to make online travel suck less.
We’ll do that by signing up 10,000 hotels this year and helping them reduce the amount they pay in commissions to online travel agents.
By doing this we will transform into a billion dollar company that provides great jobs, tools and ideas to the travel industry.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Travellers still perceive online travel agents as being cheaper. It’s easy to understand why. When you’re spending millions on advertising and marketing you can convince the masses.
Changing beliefs takes time and sustained efforts and is something we’re working on this year.
How will you make money?
We operate a SaaS model and charge hotels a monthly fee for our product based on the number of rooms they have.
Who is in your team?
Co-founder Alasdair Snow is a product legend. In the years we’ve been working together he’s become an industry name.
His first app won Best Design at Launch Festival and this year he became one of the Travel Trade Gazette’s ‘Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders’ this year.
Other co-founder Alexandra Zubko is an industry pro. She led Strategy at Intercontinental Hotels Group and in 2012 she won the one of the top accolades in the travel industry, the IHIF Young Leader Award.
I’m the Chief Tease. I love start-ups and have set up two successful agencies, Fresh Minds and Fresh Networks and was also voted Esquire Magazine’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
We’re joined by strong sales, marketing, customer love and development teams based across Europe and the US. If you want to join us then drop me a line!
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?
In a year’s time we aim to be on the booking sites of 10,000 hotels. In three year’s time we aim to over triple that in a bid to help a billion people have better travel experiences every year.
In five year’s time I’d like to have visited every hotel we work with one-by-one and finally be catching up on sleep.
Other than your own, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?
I’m a big fan of the British Airways iPhone app (disclaimer: I sit on the British Airways International Business Advisory Board).
I’ve recently been looking at The Edit and I can’t live without my daily fix from Audible.