With $3 M in Series A funding, Pickyourtrail plans to expand tech, scale operations
Ever planned a relaxed family trip and then ended up getting dragged to touristy places as per the company’s itinerary? Most of us would identify with this. And for those of us who want to plan their holiday themselves, there is travel tech startup Pickyourtrail. It helps travellers make personalised trips and itineraries as per their interests.
The 2014-founded company earlier this week announced it had raised a funding of $3 million in Series A round led by Kumar Vembu, Co-founder of PoS system solutions company GoFrugal, and Shyam Sekhar, Founder of financial consultancy iThought. Software company Entrust’s CIO Rajagopal Subramanian and customer solutions firm Freshwork’s Co-founder Girish Mathrubootham also participated in the funding round.
(L-R) Srinath Shankar and Hari Ganapathy
Founded by Hari Ganapathy and Srinath Shankar, Pickyourtrail helps travellers plan and customise their international travels, and book multi-country vacations online. The funds raised will be used to expand Pickyourtrail’s tech team and scale the tech platform. The company will also focus on creating brand awareness.
Travel being a lifestyle business, Hari told YourStory that the company now sees a change in the consumer mindset as many people are comfortable planning trips online and are ready to pay fairly large amounts of money. The Chennai-based startup claims to have served over 10,000 travellers, who have planned trips to more than 200 cities.
In a press statement, Hari said, “With our unflinching focus on customer happiness and vast experience the new investors bring in, we believe we have a real shot at changing the way people plan and book vacations over the next few years.”
For 2018, the team claims to have generated a revenue of $9.5 million. Hari said the company has been profitable every single month in the last five years, barring one. Now a team of 94, Pickyourtrail plans to expand the team to 150 by May 2019, and 180-200 by the end of this year.
Commenting on the company, Girish Mathrubootham said,
“Pickyourtrail is redefining international vacations, making holidays completely stress free, personalised and enjoyable - the way a perfect holiday should be. I saw many of our employees raving about Pickyourtrail and that's when I decided to back this great team.”
Added Shyam, “Rarely does a business meet three criteria – create customer delight, fulfil tangible aspirations, and has a huge runway to achieving scale. PYT meets all three. I am very bullish about it.”
Hari also spoke to YourStory about the importance of UI/UX for the company. “We keep tracking how to ensure the consumer has all the necessary information to take a decision. This small step has a huge impact on the overall consumer trip habits.”
Pickyourtrail also has an app which can essentially be used while travelling to discover places and resources around with live trip support. Hari says the app, which still is in alpha stage, is not for planning a trip.
With inputs from Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy.