Many can relate with the stress and difficulty of booking travels. Travis, a travel booking platform for event attendees, aims to simplify this process. When event organizers integrate Travis into their event, attendees can book their entire trip and accommodation directly on the event’s website. The startup improves the experience of event attendees and generates additional revenue for event organizers. Read here about what Alexander Porsche, CFO and Co-founder of Travis, has to say regarding the startup’s journey and what’s next for them.
How did you develop the idea for your startup and how has it evolved?
We started developing the idea mid-2015. We had the idea of making online travel booking intelligent after hearing our friends and family complain about the struggle of booking transportation for their travels. We pursued the idea of developing algorithms and machine learning for about three months. At the end of 2015, we realized that machine learning and algorithms would be very difficult to efficiently implement, because we were lacking the necessary data. We decided to pivot and explore the niche market of travel booking for events.
What did you take away from these initial challenges?
The absence of a developer on our team was a major setback; we taught ourselves tech skills in order to be able to structure our project. We also had to take a step back from our first ambition and realize that you can’t have it all at once. Our inability to succeed in the entire transportation market was our first failure, but it led us to the idea of doing business in a niche market. We wouldn’t be where we are today without this misstep.
What makes your travel booking platform attractive to event organizers? What’s your main selling point?
Event organizers who implement our platform receive an additional revenue stream; we share part of our commission with them. Traditionally, the only revenue stream for event organizers is ticket sales. Our travel booking solution is also very attractive due to its convenience. It takes the event organizers just a few minutes to integrate Travis, instead of spending a lot of time and effort trying to coordinate travel services on their own. From the point of view of the event attendees, we focus on convenience and saving them time, with recommendations for their bookings and a single booking process.
What are the next steps for Travis?
Developing Travis is currently a sales process. Have event organizers heard about us? We want to partner with big event organizers because they usually handle several events at a time. We’re also working on expanding to different countries. So far we’ve mostly focused on the German speaking market because that’s where our network is biggest, but we’ve had events in countries all over Europe. However, Europe has the added difficulty of being composed of many different countries with very different mindsets. We’re looking forward to expanding to the US sometime in the future. It’s a huge market that has more or less the same mindset, which makes it easier to do business there.
We also recently launched StaySee, a sister platform that allows frequent travelers and travel planners to receive access to heavily discounted, commission-free hotel prices.
What excites you about Travis and what sets you apart?
The transportation market is very competitive, and people were initially skeptical of our ability to succeed. We became more successful after pivoting towards the niche market of event travel. It’s easier and better to tackle that than the entire travel booking market. Additionally, there aren’t any other travel booking platforms that can be integrated into event websites like ours. It’s interesting to be at the frontier of an innovative travel-booking system. Our goal is to bring clarity, transparency and efficiency to the online travel sector.
Meet and network with Travis on Thursday, November 24th at Startupbootcamp Demo Day in Berlin. Get your tickets here!