Holidify cracks profitability code, predicts to become operationally breakeven in two yearsTausif Alam
Rohit Shroff and his travel startup Holidify have come a long way since the idea to set it up dawned on him.
The destination discovery platform was launched in November 2013 with an aim to offer an eclectic range of options to travellers who often are restricted limited options offered on most websites. It claims to provide options to domestic travellers who want to visit unknown and far flung places from the first step of trip planning.
The Delhi-based startup calls itself a comprehensive travel guide. Things to do, where to eat, options to stay, and how to reach are the information the platform offers to users. “Our content team has created the best possible guides for each destination on our page by using various online and offline resources so that our users get all the information at one place,” says Rohit.
He adds that he is continuously improvising the content and including more metrics. Crowdsourcing has immensely increased on the platform, but he wants it to be known more as a research content platform. Today, it claims to offer 800 holiday options/destinations.
In its two years’ journey, Holidify has witnessed various developments. The first was team expansion with Kovid Kapoor, the other co-founder of Holidify joining full time in September 2014 along with Kumar Kislay, a friend of theirs from IIT Bombay also joining the team. Today, the platform is a six-member team.
From the growth in users to revenue models to fund raising, Holidify has gone through various positive changes since August last year.
In a year’s time from the launch, the users grew from 1,500 to 50,000. Today, the platform has 5,00,000 users. Earlier, Rohit was using the channel of affiliate marketing to drive the revenue. This year, he decided to add another mode of revenue source in the form of holiday packages.
“There’s a huge gap in the holiday package industry. Though there are many platforms in the segment, less than one per cent of holiday package booking happens online. So, the industry has a lot of potential for new entrants and it’s not very late to enter this segment,” says Rohit.
He has tied up with around 20 travel agents in north India and offers customised holiday packages to users.
In June this year, Holidify also launched an app and has already garnered 10,000+ downloads. After the launch of the app in September this year, Holidify successfully raised an angel round of funding of USD 1,00, 000 led by Promoter of Aarti Group.
Talking about his future plans, Rohit says that he is also in talks with a few VC firms to raise a bigger round soon which will help them expand operations and offer customised packages to their users. The platform also expects to break-even in two years.
TripAdvisor, MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, ixigo, HolidayIQ, Hello Travel, Travel Triangle and many similar platforms give direct competition to Holidify. Besides being affiliate channels and holiday package platforms, they are also into destination discovery. It’ll be interesting to witness the growth of the industry where players are vying with each other for monopoly.