Tripobox aims to smooth out group travel

Tripobox is a collaborative travel marketplace designed to simplify the planning and booking of group trips.

Most online reservation systems lack automated planning and booking features for groups.

So Tripobox is building a platform to facilitate contact among travellers (including the dreaded division and collection of payments among tripmates) as well as among travellers and suppliers of hotels, restaurants, and activities (replacing the need for phone calls and e-mails).

Since it launched in February 2013, it has focused only on three destinations: Barcelona, New York City, and San Francisco. This month it added Amsterdam, Paris, Chicago, and London.

The start-up claims to have generated $100K in gross revenues from about 1,500 users. While its marketplace is completely free for the traveler, the company charges the host (or service provider) an average of 10% commission on each booking.

The founders have bootstrapped with $200K. They are now seeking a seed round of funding of $400K.

The company grew out of a local travel agency in Barcelona. Its head office is located in Sunnyvale, Calif., while its development office is in Barcelona, Spain.

The eight-person team is led by co-founders Marco Toscano (CEO), Fabiola Jaquero (chief product officer), and Raphael Gernot (business development officer), and includes two developers and three marketing and sales gurus.

Defining groups as three or more people, Tripobox estimates the group travel market size as about $200 billion, which is almost a quarter of all travel. It caps its potential market at around $50 billion.

tripobox group travel

Q&A with CEO Marco Toscano:

Describe what your start-up does, what problem it solves and for whom?

Tripobox.com is a collaborative travel marketplace with offerings to stay, eat, and do — simplifying the planning and reservation of group trips. The application connects group travelers with hosts, facilitates decision-making within the group, and handles individual payment among all tripmates.

Tripobox is the only application that covers a seamless user experience across the entire planning and booking cycle.

We target:
• Private group travelers who participate in trips with friends, schools, clubs etc., including trips to attend private and social events (bachelors/bachelorettes, weddings, celebrations, festivals, etc.).
• Secondary, corporate travelers who attend meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions.

Why should people or companies use your startup?

Organizing and booking group trips has traditionally been very cumbersome. It’s a process handled manually by specific group travel desks.

We aim to plug the gap online, offering an online, one-stop-shopping application to manage a process which otherwise relies on offline agencies.

tripobox group travel

Other than going viral and receiving mountains of positive PR, what is the strategy for raising awareness and getting customers/users?

We plan to set up and maintain social media campaigns and email campaigns. We will grow our two-sided marketplace through a combination of:
• Provider acquisition through direct-marketing, emailing and cooperation with tour operators.
• Marketing to group travelers and group travel organizers (users) through SEO, SEM, and SMO.
• Affiliation programs for complementary platforms (e.g. event ticketing), advertising in specialized media, and white-labelling with other online travel agencies
• A native smartphone app for iPhone, iPad, Android (currently, we only offer a responsive web app).

Where do you see yourselves in 3 years time?
We see ourselves in 3 years as the major player in the online group travel business. Our biggest challenge has been to successfully validate our business model through the traction we received from both, providers as well as travelers and the revenues we’ve generated. We’ve hit our benchmarks for our product road map to date.

 

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