MyGuestHouse is an online portal for budget accommodations like guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, inns, motels and serviced apartments. It was founded in 2010 by Jitender Arora and Varun Chawla (Varun went on to co-found 91Springboard) and went on to raise investment from Makemytrip. MakeMyTrip owns 29% equity and can acquire 100% of MGH’s ordinary shares based upon achievement of various business parameters spread over eight years.
Based out of Noida, UP, MyGuestHouse is currently a 120 member team (20 in Tech) and apart from the online portal, also has a SaaS product for the budget accommodation owners. MGH creates solutions for hotels, travel agents, distributors, corporate travel and has also partnered with travel companies like Agoda and Kuoni Business Travels. “We have been able to monetize via the product as well and do most of our sales via affiliate sites,” says the marketing head of MGH, Pranav Ahuja.
In a new development, the company has launched an initiative called “Traveneur” (a play on Travel Entrepreneurship).
Traveneur is an initiative to promote travel entrepreneurship. The point is to reach out to people who want to start in the travel business or grow their existing travel business.
The travel business is fast coming online and lots of travel guys our getting get stuck because they feel they don't have the skills to develop and maintain the required technology or that they don't have the funds to hire a development team. Traveneur is helping them get past these roadblocks.
We've built plug and play technology for traveneurs that they can start using. The technology can be used by anyone wants to start a hotel, a chain of hotels, an OTA, a offline travel business, a corporate travel business etc.
Read more about the initiative on their microsite here. On a related note, the travel space in India has picked up and we're seeing some interesting activity-
- Companies moving towards aggregating experiences (500 Startups company Tushky, MyFirstCheque invested Posvine, Travspire)
- Travel enthusiasts starting up to help more travelers (India Untraveled, The Indian Backpacker)
- More trip planners (Trip Thirsty, Holidayen, IxiGO’s trip planner, Traverik,etc)
These are some of the interesting trends in the Travel Space but we really haven't seen a huge success story after MMT. Likes of iXiGO have scaled but the field in general is filled with travel companies that are at yet to attain the scale where they reach the critical mass. The space is getting interesting and we'll surely see a few winners emerge soon.