When is the best time to go rafting in Rishikesh? Where can I go for a weekend trek near Bengaluru? I am going on a vacation to Andamans. What all can I do there? These are some of the common questions you would have while travelling. Planning and organising a trip is one of the most important parts of a journey. It is to make this step easier and simpler that Mojhi was set up.
On this platform, travellers can find, plan, and book their next adventure. There are over 4,000 adventures from 350 vendors across five countries, with all the information tagged.
One can also compare the offerings from each vendor side by side across various parameters including price, credentials of the operator, and ratings for the activity/operator.
Workings of the platform
The platform also has an adventure consultant tool that lets one connect to multiple suppliers directly during the activity planning stage and enables them to get customised itineraries, quotes and have all their questions answered directly by the supplier. Customers can also connect with other users who have done the activity in the past for more credible feedback and assistance.
The idea first came to Greeshmanth Koganti last year during a kayaking trip in Rishikesh. A young couple were walking along the road at Tapovan looking for rafting operators. They tried to look for some resources online on their mobile phone but couldn’t find anything. The questions they were asking the rafting operators all resulted in answers, which led to no decisions. All rafting operators claimed they were the best, they had the best safety standards, and had the fairest pricing.
Building the team
It got me thinking about the amount of people who had reached out to me over the years. If only there was a platform that offered information to help beginners try a sport, or experienced adventurers in a new country choose the right tour operator, adds 32-year-old Greeshmanth.
He first bounced the idea off his friend Vishawanth, who also shared his love of travel and adventure. Soon, they roped in their friends Naveen and Bhavpreet. They all decided to sit down and write all the pain points they felt needed addressing. They validated this by doing some surveys and decided on two points – structured and reliable information about adventure and building the adventure traveller community.
Greeshmanth has been involved in many startups over the years. He first began by making mobile games in the pre-smartphone era. He has worked in engineering, product management, marketing, and sales at Fortune 100 companies as well as early-stage startups. Viswanath has managed digital marketing campaigns for some of the largest Internet companies in Chile, Brazil, China, Japan, and India.
Naveen is an adventure buff and has been in the adventure business for 14 years. He has previously run adventure tour companies. Bhavpreet and Navtej have 11 years of industry experience in engineering, networking, and security.
Cracking the market
The team found that the tour operator market is extremely fragmented. Many don’t even have a website. Creating a product and interface that can be used across many categories, and countries, took a lot of iterations.
“We finally landed on creating collections – pages that have a lot of information about the particular adventure and brings together all the various tour operators for that adventure,” says Greeshmanth.
Bootstrapped, the team intends to touch 15 countries by end of this year. They charge a commission from the tour operator for every booking through their platform. Currently, Mojhi has bookings for adventure activities in India, Nepal, Dubai, and Sri Lanka and have a user base across the US, India, the UK, Japan, and 10 other countries. The team claims they have been growing at 50 per cent month over month for the last three months and have crossed $25,000 in GMV for March.
The space of online travel
During their research, the team found that almost 69 per cent of travellers research adventure travel online and close to 65 per cent seek help from friends and family. There are over 200 million experiential travellers, globally. This includes adventure travel, retreats, and even pilgrimages.
The segment is currently filled with many different players in the field like Ithaka, which works as a personal travel assistant. Mygola operates in the planning and itinerary space and was acquired by HolidayIQ; Triphobo focusses on the time value of a journey; and there are others such as iXigo’s Trip Planner, Elan Adventures, Byond Travels, and even bigger players like Makemytrip and Cleartrip, who are breaking into the space of online itinerary planning.