TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring Singapore-based 3rd Planet, a 3D interactive travel guide platform for tourism boards and destinations.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
Terence Mak, CEO and founder of 3rd Planet. He brings with him 20 years of experience in application of technology and new media experience.
Prior to 3rd Planet, Terence was a Director of Asia Seminar where he successfully lead the company to organize massive consumer events with many key partners in Singapore, like Ministry of Youth and Services, Singapore Health Promotion Board, and ran many other consumers and corporate events . Asia Seminar partners also with leading media players like MediaCorp.
Asia Seminar was instrumental for pulling off the largest consumer event in Singapore in 2005 and attracting 15,000 attendees and running 300 simultaneous events in 3 days.
Prior to setting up Asia Seminar in 2002, Terence founded another high tech start up call UGOTACALL. The business was a competitor to Skype and was venture funded by leading global consulting company Accenture in 2002.
Before his entrepreneurial experience from 1999, Terence use to work for many NASDAQ listed companies and was instrumental in setting the Asean Sales and Marketing operations for technology companies like Glenayre and Natural Microsystems. Prior to his sales development skills, he started his career as a software engineer in his pioneering days in Teledata (S).
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
We are partly support by the Singapore Government Division known as the Media Development Authority with a $1 million grant and also privately funded. We are currently in discussions with several Asian investors for our next growth plans.
What problem are you trying to solve?
The ability to allow audience understand what a tourism location has to offer and a better way to visualise and understand a tourism destinations.
Describe the business, core products and services?
3rd Planet is a new media platform for the global tourism industry, we allow tourism destinations to be featured in interactive 3D via the web. Users can navigate around each of these locations and learn about them at the comfort of their home through their computers. All they need is a mouse.
Our platform offers the tourism industry a new online media platform to engage (entertain) global consumers and help educate users why their location is so interesting and hopefully encourge users to visit and spend longer time there for their holidays.
We also act as an aggregration tool (lowering cost of marketing) for the global tourism industry for destinations in a way in which there are currently no others in the marketplace.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Our first customer is the Nepal Tourism Board and we will be working with them to debut the "Journey to Everest - Now everyone can climb Everest" project. We have a few more in discussions and will be announcing these in the coming months.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
Yes, the idea was adopted by our customers before funding was made available.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
Consumers are free to use the platform and our revenues are from the tourism industry, helping tourism boards, hotels, destinations, airlines, etc, virtualize their locations. There are both production and hosting fees.
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
There is currently no competitor in the space we are operating in yet, most portals are for hotels and airlines booking but there is currently no global online platform like this for the destination marketing. Global web travel advertisement opportunities is another area we are looking at.
We are also in the exploration of working with other media companies.
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
Most of the people who advise me the idea is not going to be successful were those have not seen our final product. As its is such a new concept in online marketing, many people cannot visualise how it works and how they can use it.
Now that the product is completed. We really have very few people who said this is not what
they want. In fact most of the time nowadays they question why no body has thought about it before, it so obvious once you see it in action.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
There are a few success metric we have:
- Making sure our end users love what we do!
- Helping more destinations bring their destinations to life online.
- Working with global partners to roll this to more consumers worldwide.
We are all involved because we love doing what we do! And its fun!
Here is a clip:
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.