Travel Startups Incubator (TSI) recently launched an Advisory Program for seed-funded and later-stage travel startups. In this program TSI does not make a cash investment but provides paid advisory and professional services to travel startups, leveraging the full resources and network of the incubator to help their businesses break through to the next level of growth. We wanted to take a moment to highlight a couple of these promising companies and how we’re helping them. Please connect with us if you see a business development and or investment opportunity with either company.
Advisory Program client: LastSeat
LastSeat, currently in development, is a mobile-only booking app enabling bidding on airline seats for leisure and business air traveler. The company is lead by Nadeem Ladki (founder and CEO), co-founder Oscar Asly (Business Development) and co-founder Andrew Daniel, (Director of User Acquistion). LastSeat seeks to be the leading airline ticket auction platform for value-conscious travelers around the world, helping airlines effectively sell distressed inventory direct to consumers.
LastSeat value propositions:
- Fill empty seats and capture additional revenue for partner airlines.
- Enable consumers to bid on airline tickets with transparency.
LastSeat is currently looking for airlines to provide initial feedback on the product and the opportunity to pilot the new technology.
Benefits to the airline include:
- Additional sales with reduction in OTA fees.
- Increased load factors.
- No initial fees for user traffic directed to airline.
- Airlines are in control of visibility of user bids. Airlines can increase load factors by accepting bids which meet minimum KPIs.
- LastSeat’s airline dashboard generates high level reports for the C-suite, providing in-depth reviews on bottom line and load factor impact.
- Links users to airline booking platform, leveraging existing infrastructure to minimize resource and IT requirement for airline.
How TSI is helping:
- Connected LastSeat with Amadeus for Startups, a TSI Innovation Partner, for access to the Amadeus API.
- Connected LastSeat with a TSI Business Development Partner for access to airfare ticketing, fulfillment, and customer support.
- Actively making introductions to airlines in our Business Development partner network.
- Providing understanding of the distribution technology necessary to make this model work.
Nadeem Ladki says: ”Industries are changing rapidly with the introduction of new mobile technology, notably on-demand services and better connectivity to users. LastSeat helps bridge the gap for airlines, enabling them to better hear what their travellers want and capture revenue which wouldn’t have been possible before in a dynamic communication environment that does not relinquish pricing control. We are excited to bring this to market, and with the depth of knowledge amongst the team, TSI is a great partner in helping us do that.”
Matt Zito, Manager Partner at Travel Startups Incubator, says: “LastSeat is attempting to penetrate a very mature market within an industry that doesn’t like to alter their business models or provide transparency in discounted pricing. If true disruption is needed in the travel industry, the airlines are the ones that need it the most. As airlines move towards selling direct to travelers, LastSeat’s model supports this initiative.”
Advisory Program client: Together Travel
Together Travel is a youth travel tour operator serving international millennial travelers who come together throughout Europe for 5 Night / 6 Day events in the summertime in Ibiza, Mallorca and other hot spots around Europe. The company is lead by Aaron Evans-Aghoghogbe (Co-Founder & Director) and Christopher Moon (Co-Founder). Together Travel seeks to be the go-to brand creating exclusive experiences for the next generation of travelers.
Together Travel value propositions:
- Access to an exclusive travel club with closed network deals.
- Unmatched financial value for customers in each resort.
- Ease of fully integrated experience.
- Proprietary distribution & technology.
- Proven to reach and convert internationally.
Together Travel is looking to expand operations by chartering their own flights and building a mobile app for their customers. They are looking for a $500K investment from either an angel, VC or larger travel company to help them fund the development of their OTA platform.
- Taken over 8,000 customers abroad in 5 years.
- 71,000 Facebook Fans – facebook.com/togetherweek.
- 8,500 Instagram followers – instagram.com/togetherweek.
- 4.9* Average review.
- Growing revenue fast.
How TSI is helping:
- Reviewing hotel contracts with the aim to increase margins by implementing an owned inventory merchant model.
- Connected Together Travel with Amadeus for Startups, a TSI Innovation Partner, providing access to global flight inventory through the Amadeus API.
- Making introductions to flight charter options.
- Introducing hotels, resorts and hotel wholesalers in the TSI Business Development network to acquire new hotel inventory and to strengthen relationships.
Matt Zito, manager partner at Travel Startups Incubator, says: “Together Travel is working on building an OTA targeting Millennial travelers, 18-34 years old. In the last five years Chris and Aaron have been very successful in building a tour operator business, moving thousands of young travelers into Ibiza during the summer months on 5 night and 6 day vacation packages. The next step in the evolution of their business is to implement new technologies that enable them the ability to sell year-round travel products to their loyal customer base, and to distribute out their proprietary inventory to larger third party travel companies. We look forward in helping them build out their company into a global OTA.”