Asia represents a massive market for travel operators. With a growing middle class and availability of low cost airfares, tourist travel within Asia has grown significantly over the past decade. This has resulted in numerous startup companies trying to take advantage of the market opportunities presented. Here are three of our favourites:
TripHobo is a personalized global itinerary planner, founded in the Indian city of Pune in 2012. It enables travelers to create their own personalised travel itineraries, or follow those that have already been created by other users. The TripHobo platform employs a series of algorithms to help users plan trips and choose which attractions to visit, before facilitating the necessary bookings. In just three years its growth has been such that its web portal is now home to in excess of 70,000 user-generated itineraries, which cover approximately 25,000 attractions in over 400 cities. In 2014 TripHobo raised more than US$1 million in Series A funding from the Bangalore based Kalaari Capital. Just last month it secured a further US$3 million in Series B funding, from both Kalaari and Mayfield India. The recent capital that was raised will be deployed towards marketing and global user acquisition. TripHobo has designs on spreading its user network to incorporate another 3,000 cities and grow the number of itineraries by six-fold!
Aimed specifically at the Philippine tourist market, FlipTrip was founded to help travelers connect with locals (individuals and businesses). It provides detailed information to users about the top or most popular destinations, as well as some that are found off-the-beaten-path. Its web platform helps you choose your next destination, as well as enabling you to find tours, accommodation and transport. You can then book everything you need in one go. Voila – your own customised holiday experience! FlipTrip was recently selected as a Top 100 qualifier for the upcoming Echelon 2015 Philippine Satellite Finals. If successful they will participate in the Echelon Asia Summit 2015, the largest tech conference in the region, which will be held in Singapore in June.
Another Indian travel startup, iTraveller is an online marketplace that was launched in 2011 from its base in Bangalore. It originally intended to provide an online portal for customised vacation planning. However, the business experienced difficulty in scaling. So, in early 2013 the founders made the call to expand their offering to include an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform via which travel agents and tour operators could automate their supply chains. iTraveller’s business customers access the cloud-based service via a pay-per-use subscription that is calculated on their monthly usage of the iTraveller tech platform. At the same time, consumers are still able to plan and book their own personalised holidays.
In February this year it successfully raised US$1 million in Series A funding. With an estimated 80% of the Indian travel business still conducted off-line, there is massive potential for iTraveller to grow its share of the local market. The company’s plan is to become the largest tech-enabled holiday platform in India and achieve US$1 billion of transactions in the next five years.
The Asian travel market is booming. Whether you are travelling locally, or from overseas, these three startups can help you tailor the holiday is perfect for you.