Disrupting travel space via location-aware mobile apps: Trip38 story

trip38While most of the apps around travel are focused on data rendering than data mining, there are a few who try to disrupt the space with actionable information such as weather conditions, nearby places to visit around city and road conditions. Aiming to disrupt the travel space, Bangalore-based Trip38 wants to change the way travelers find information during travel (after their booking is completed). Trip38 is a smart location-aware mobile app providing context-sensitive, location content in terms of sightseeing options, restaurants, local events, weather, hotel offers/deals, embassy info, etc., all delivered on the traveler’s smart phone just with their flight ticket or hotel confirmation vouchers.

Offering and genesis of Trip38

While there are products and mobile apps focusing on the search or the transaction side of the travel taken care of, very few deliver location specific content around your place of stay with no or little effort from the traveler. At present the startup offers apps for Android (for version 2.2 and up) and Windows phones. It offers a variety of content sources, with more than 200,000 hotels including 180,000 attractions and sightseeing options running across the world. It also has curated list of 30,000 Indian restaurants for the Indian travelers along with info regarding embassies and consulates across the world for all the countries.

trip38Trip38 automatically creates local guide on your smartphone based on your flight ticket or hotel confirmation email. It organizes your complete travel itinerary including flight e-ticket,  hotel upgrade offers, things to do, restaurant options, local events, weather, embassy/ consulate info, helpline/ public utility info, directions and many more local content. With Trip38 you don’t need to carry paper tickets or hotel vouchers; and, interestingly, it also works offline (sans internet connectivity).

Team behind Trip38 and its revenue model

Founded by Niranjan Gupta, Sesh, and Markish R, Trip38 team shares a common passion – travel, technology and entrepreneurship – and aspires to do something fundamentally different and create a world-class product for the global consumer. “Each one of us comes from deep experience in the areas of consumer internet, technology, product strategy, travel and ecommerce areas,” says Sesh. Niranjan comes with more than 25 years of travel industry experience; he came out with path-breaking ideas to start Via and Magic rooms. Markish was the Co-founder and CTO at Magic rooms and has been a techie all his life including stints at SAP India. Sesh has more than 20 years of consulting/services and product strategy and leadership experience and has been an entrepreneur for the last 4 years.

“We know each other for a few years and have been meeting regularly to brainstorm various ideas in travel and beyond travel as well. In one of the many meetings, we debated on lack of post-booking solutions to the customers; and months of research and survey led to create this unique product for the global consumer,” adds Sesh. While the app will be free to consumers, Trip38’s revenue monetization options include transaction or subscription fees from hotels for its hotel engage products along with fees from tourism boards, travel agents and travel management companies for its travel engage product.

Future plans

“We would like to have five million downloads with presence in 40 countries in the next three years. Our key challenge will be to convince hoteliers and tourism boards to pay us to use Trip38 for business platform since this needs longer gestation time (at least in the initial stages). 90% of our revenue monetization depends on these two critical customers,” concludes Sesh.