How to start a travel startup

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How to start a travel startup

  1. 1. TRIPCOMMON.COM GILLIAN MORRIS @TRIPCOMMON G@TRIPCOMMON.COM
  2. 2. Do you identify with any of the following statements (check all that apply)?• I think travel is amazing and I travel 3+ times a year• I have a college education• I’m better traveled than most people I know• I’ve been fairly successful at at least one entrepreneurial endeavor in the past, however small scale• Travel taught me that I can live with fewer things – I WILL SURVIVE• I’ve done some research and have discovered travel is a HUGE market
  3. 3. You are not the average travel consumer
  4. 4. This is what investors will look like when they hear your story Don’t just build something for you and your friends – know your market and its constraints
  5. 5. Side note: Vocabulary• GDS = Global Distribution System (Sabre, Amadeus, Travelport, ITA, Vayant, Everbread) – centralized repositories of fare and availability data for flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, etc. Sells this information to OTAs and, increasingly, metasearch engines (search as a service)• OTA = online travel agency (Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz) – online retailer of travel products• Metasearch engine (Kayak, Skyscanner) – aggregator of OTA content, drives warm leads to OTAs and direct to airline websites• VFR travel = visiting friends and relatives• T&t = travel & tourism
  6. 6. Why it’s hard to be a startup in the travel space• Infrequent activity – consumers book ~3 trips/year, most VFR• Giant market incumbents – can’t compete with their marketing budgets• Less than 30% of people book online• Barriers to entry - GDS cost, complexity (excellent article by Tadhg Pearson)• [Irrational?] attachment to low price
  7. 7. Then again…• Travel industry is growing faster than the world economy (3.2% yoy vs. 2.3%) and is projected to continue to do so• More and more transactions moving online• People are taking shorter and more frequent trips• Just an insanely large market: $3.2tr leisure spending on t&t + $1tr business spending• 2012 total online spending on travel in the US alone $103bn• Incredibly fragmented market – lots of space to carve out a niche & potentially start a revolution Source: World Travel & Tourism Council Handbook 2013
  8. 8. Online transactions for travel booking were estimated at $313bn worldwide in 2012, but… Today’s prospective travelers The average traveler visits 22 are social, mobile, and sites prior to booking underserved by current travel planning tools How much more would they travel if they could evaluate options easily?
  9. 9. The TripCommon Story
  10. 10. I identified with all these statements*• I think travel is amazing and I travel 3+ times a year• I have a college education• I’m better traveled than most people I know• I’ve been fairly successful at at least one entrepreneurial endeavor in the past, however small scale• Travel taught me that I can live with fewer things – I WILL SURVIVE• I’ve done some research and have discovered travel is a HUGE market*And I think all founders in the travel space probably should, though college education isn’t asimportant
  11. 11. Vague idea: combine all
  12. 12. Initial idea validation… and validation that I wanted to do this
  13. 13. Recruiting cofounders
  14. 14. The TripCommon story
  15. 15. Demo time: visit TripCommon.com
  16. 16. Initial value proposition: TripCommon helps you find the best place and time to travel with friends who live in different cities = 4 text entries in 12+ TripCommon 20 seconds (vs. 7 clicks (vs. 26) results, depending (compared to 8 5.5 minutes) on departure cities using current (vs. 3 results) tools) TripCommon proactively scans popular routes to discover deals you would probably never find, and it delivers these results in 6% of the time
  17. 17. Time in California: what we encountered
  18. 18. First experience of New York: what we encountered
  19. 19. We moved to New York• Greater pressure to develop a robust business plan – spinning wheels in CA• Closer to Europe, where we see a core market• Closer to Boston, the center of travel tech (Kayak, TripAdvisor, ITA/Google Flights, Amadeus, etc)• Better personal networks• California taxes…
  20. 20. The TripCommon Story The twist
  21. 21. Pivot: TripCommon helps you find out where your friends are and how you can travel to them or with them. Follow @tripcommon to learn more
  22. 22. Want to help? Looking for• Beta testers• Advisors• Engineering help• Marketing help• Third cofounder? Looking for a CTO/CPO Email me maybe? g@tripcommon.com
  23. 23. Thinking of starting a travel company yourself?
  24. 24. Remember, the big travel companies are intimidating, but their power can also be limiting. Be flexible and faster.
  25. 25. Companies to know• News: Tnooz, Skift, Google alerts on your competitors• Giants: TripAdvisor (just bought Jetsetter), Google (ITA Travel, Frommer’s), Priceline, Expedia• Research: PhoCusWright• Conferences: PhoCusWright, ITB Berlin, World Travel Market• $$: General Catalyst (invested in Kayak, Room77, Couchsurfing, Viajanet), Redpoint (Viajanet, Gogobot)
  26. 26. Help othersAnd we can all get further
  27. 27. 5/5 doctors recommend TripCommon

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