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Travel Startups Challenges and Opportunities
Valentin Dombrovsky for Software Engineering Conference, Kiev
03.09.2016
http://traveltechcon.ru
These companies have already signed up
- 2 keynotes from representatives of leading Russian OTAs;
- Panel discussion on Russian travel market with representative...
Apply for the chance to present your
company in pitch competition
http://bit.ly/TTCR-Startup-Application
My Story…
1. Online travel landscape - find your niche.
2. You've got an idea, now what? (Or why you shouldn't do a
travel startup)
...
http://www.tnooz.com/article/the-online-travel-ecosystem-infographic/
But in fact there’s no such clear path
• Booking websites might become source of inspiration
• Meta-search websites enable...
Traveler
f
T
r
a
v
e
l
e
r
Are you doing b2b or b2c (or b2b2c)?
Are you doing it for leisure travel or for corporate
travel?
Are you doing it for spe...
Things to take into account on travel market
• The product costs are high
• There’s high sensitivity to the product price
...
Build for the market – not for yourself
Do customer development
Understand your niche
Do the things that do not scale
vs.
Starting B2C Travel Startup:
Start with sales (tour agency)
Start with content
Focus on specific destinations/target audie...
Why b2c travel planning doesn’t work?
Let’s assume your product/R&D execution was perfect. You nailed it. You built the ul...
http://www.tnooz.com/article/travel-startups-cling-to-inspiration-sector-yet-massively-out-of-sync-with-investment/
http://www.tnooz.com/article/travel-startups-cling-to-inspiration-sector-yet-massively-out-of-sync-with-investment/
B2B Travel Startups
Long sales cycles
Product should solve business problems and do it well
You need trust + salesforce fo...
Where’s disruption?
Disruption
• Right technologies at right time
• Something “truly new or 10 times better”
• Compelling offer – truly simple...
Trends
• Big Data
• Machine Learning
• Personalization
• Mobile
• New markets
• New audiences
https://www.linkedin.com/pul...
This could be useful:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/travel.startups.russia/ - Travel Startups Community
https://www.face...
Online travel eco-system:
http://www.tnooz.com/article/online-travel/
http://www.tnooz.com/article/the-online-travel-ecosy...
Thank you for being awesome! 
valentin@travelabs.org
Travel Startups Challenges and Opportunities
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Travel Startups Challenges and Opportunities

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This presentation was presented by Valentin Dombrovsky (Chief Alchemist at Travelabs) at Software Engineering 2016 Conference in Kiev on September 3, 2016

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Travel Startups Challenges and Opportunities

  1. 1. Travel Startups Challenges and Opportunities Valentin Dombrovsky for Software Engineering Conference, Kiev 03.09.2016
  2. 2. http://traveltechcon.ru
  3. 3. These companies have already signed up
  4. 4. - 2 keynotes from representatives of leading Russian OTAs; - Panel discussion on Russian travel market with representatives of leading internet companies; - Keynote from representative of European advertising system; - Keynote from representative of leading global corporate travel agency; - Keynote from a startup which managed to start working with one of major hotel chains; - 2 prizes for winners of pitch competition.
  5. 5. Apply for the chance to present your company in pitch competition http://bit.ly/TTCR-Startup-Application
  6. 6. My Story…
  7. 7. 1. Online travel landscape - find your niche. 2. You've got an idea, now what? (Or why you shouldn't do a travel startup) 3. B2C and B2B startups - where's the biggest potential? 4. Disrupting the market - understanding key opportunities.
  8. 8. http://www.tnooz.com/article/the-online-travel-ecosystem-infographic/
  9. 9. But in fact there’s no such clear path • Booking websites might become source of inspiration • Meta-search websites enable booking • Travelers read reviews to do their research and planning • Lots of activity happens offline (we think about travels all the time ) • Major players tend to build (or acquire) solutions for all parts of the trip planning process • Etc.
  10. 10. Traveler f T r a v e l e r
  11. 11. Are you doing b2b or b2c (or b2b2c)? Are you doing it for leisure travel or for corporate travel? Are you doing it for specific niche?
  12. 12. Things to take into account on travel market • The product costs are high • There’s high sensitivity to the product price • There’s high sensitivity to company brand • Travel periodicity varies “The barrier for entry is low – the barrier for disruption is high” (Tnooz)
  13. 13. Build for the market – not for yourself Do customer development Understand your niche Do the things that do not scale
  14. 14. vs.
  15. 15. Starting B2C Travel Startup: Start with sales (tour agency) Start with content Focus on specific destinations/target audiences “Social”, trip planning, inspiration usually don’t work Think about “adding value” to other travel companies
  16. 16. Why b2c travel planning doesn’t work? Let’s assume your product/R&D execution was perfect. You nailed it. You built the ultimate travel planner/travel content site for a sizable audience. • Now all you need to do is: • Get a lot of people who travel to hear about it, just as they are getting ready to plan a trip • Quickly get them up-to-speed on your product so they realize their investment in learning your workflow will pay off, so they actually use it to plan their trip • Make sure they use it for the actual hotel bookings etc. so you get the affiliate fees • Invest the affiliate fees you got for those bookings to acquire the next customers (bidding against the company who paid you those fees) • Done! https://www.tnooz.com/article/why-you-should-never-consider-a-travel-planning-startup/
  17. 17. http://www.tnooz.com/article/travel-startups-cling-to-inspiration-sector-yet-massively-out-of-sync-with-investment/
  18. 18. http://www.tnooz.com/article/travel-startups-cling-to-inspiration-sector-yet-massively-out-of-sync-with-investment/
  19. 19. B2B Travel Startups Long sales cycles Product should solve business problems and do it well You need trust + salesforce for traction Your offering needs to be really compelling for business even to start analyzing it Still, if you’re doing B2C, think about B2B2C
  20. 20. Where’s disruption?
  21. 21. Disruption • Right technologies at right time • Something “truly new or 10 times better” • Compelling offer – truly simple solutions from customer POV • Understand your potential but start small
  22. 22. Trends • Big Data • Machine Learning • Personalization • Mobile • New markets • New audiences https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/travel-tech-trends-2016-valentin- dombrovsky
  23. 23. This could be useful: https://www.facebook.com/groups/travel.startups.russia/ - Travel Startups Community https://www.facebook.com/groups/travel.startups.intl/ - Travel Startups Intl. Community
  24. 24. Online travel eco-system: http://www.tnooz.com/article/online-travel/ http://www.tnooz.com/article/the-online-travel-ecosystem-infographic/ Travel Startup Lessons: http://gillian.im/2014/08/hitchhikers-guide-travel-startups.html http://www.tnooz.com/article/why-you-should-never-consider-a-travel-planning-startup/#comment-4202129 http://www.tnooz.com/article/10-lessons-learned-building-travel-startup/ http://www.tnooz.com/article/travel-startups-cling-to-inspiration-sector-yet-massively-out-of-sync-with-investment/ http://www.tnooz.com/article/startups-barriers-low-disrupt-high/ http://www.tnooz.com/article/travel-startup-lessons-from-exit/ https://medium.com/what-i-learned-building/the-user-is-always-right-eab73c620e7d#.fhyisxxcx http://www.travelstartups.co/5-techniques-to-create-the-next-hot-travel-startup/ B2B Travel Startups: http://skift.com/2015/10/05/startups-stories-series-the-pivot-to-b2b-is-not-the-promised-land/ http://www.tnooz.com/article/travel-startup-airline-partnership/ General Startups Wisdom: http://www.wsj.com/articles/peter-thiel-competition-is-for-losers-1410535536 http://paulgraham.com/ds.html Growth Hacking and Viral Marketing: http://www.slideshare.net/mattangriffel/growth-hacking http://www.slideshare.net/DavidSkok/the-science-behind-viral-marketing https://growthhackers.com/growth-studies/ http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/social-media-examples/viral-marketing-examples/ Useful Reading
  25. 25. Thank you for being awesome!  valentin@travelabs.org

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