Startup Pitch - DistancesBetween tackles India's door-to-door dilemmaNews / Distribution | TechnologyBy Martin Cowen | April 24, 2017Share This article was originally published on Door-to-door or multimodal travel search is an engineering challenge which requires the seamless integration of many dynamic data sources.There are still some sites which fall short providing travellers with simple air alternatives between cities with more than one airport.Railway operators, bus and coach services and taxi apps vie for the first and last mile components of a trip, compunding the door-to-door complexity.In the relatively mature markets of North America and Europe there are some businesses getting close to cracking this for travellers. But in India, a massive country where the tech is doing a great job in taming a fragmented transport infrastructure, the options are more varied.Here's where DistancesBetween comes in. It provides with a platform which allows Indian travellers to book their bus, flight, train and taxi all in one go, on one platform, for the entire itinerary.Before the Q&A with Bharatt Kumaar Malik, founder and CEO, DistancesBetween.com, here's the introductory video clip: What problem does your business solve?In a country of more than three million square kilometers of landmass, with more than five million kilometres of roads piercing it, the availability of door-to-door travel itineraries in India is nil.Nobody has a plane in their backyard or a train parked outside their door. But travel inherently is door-to-door. Any kind of travel today involves multiple transport options which brings in many problems for the door-to-door traveller - complicated timetables, outdated maps and the skewed rates quoted by taxi driversThis is where DistancesBetween.com arrives. An intuitive multimodal journey planner providing search, comparison and booking options for door-to-door travel across India. Travelers can track down different modes of transport in one comprehensive view that helps them reach their destination in the most seamless, cost-effective and efficient way possible.Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?Bharatt Kumaar Malik, founder and CEO of DistancesBetween.com, Sachin Mathur, co-founder and CTO of DistancesBetween.com and ten full-time paid staff.The founders have experience of working with OTAs, were involved and involved in building in Los Angeles' Go511 intelligent transport system.Funding ArrangementsSelf-FundedRevenue ModelAdvertisements and affiliate commissionWhy do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?Trips are always door-to-door and the current generation of travel search sites needs to be able to answer questions such as: How will I cover my last mile?Should I take a train or bus from the airport?Is there any cab around to take me to the nearest station?How much will it cost me to cover my entire journey?Where all can I book my journey legs? So let's take an example-Imagine you are living in Haridwar and you want to travel to one of the famous char-dham places Rameshwaram.But if you type Haridwar and Rameshwaram in any of the major travel search tools you get an error message. They don't know Haridwar and they don’t know about Rameshwaram and even if they did know about these places they don’t know about the train which will take you from Haridwar to the nearest airport, or the bus which can take you to Rameshwaram. So they couldn't really give you realistic answers anyway.In that case what will customers do? They leave existing travel search platforms and go to Google to search the missing components of their trip. This is really the problem we can address - and keep customers on one platform where they can search and book their travel anywhere to anywhere. There are millions of destinations in India and around the world that people travel to all the time where travellers need to have the their options explained.That’s what DistancesBetween is all about.There is also an app to provide real time mobility updates on booking, travel time, delays and attraction etc.External validation? (Examples: The incubators/accelerators you have been accepted to, the mentors who are advising you, the number of customers you’ve signed, the marketing partner deals you’ve made, the skills/connections of your founders, etc.)AmadeusNext Start Up memberFICCI Travel Tech Start up Winner 2017DistancesBetween witnesses 50k visitors and 6,000 trips on a daily basis and has 12000 registered users to date.Tnooz View:There are quite a few Holy Grails in travel, and door-to-door bookability is one of them. For consumers, the idea of a site which can find and book the most convenient and price effective transport components to get from A to B is attractive, especially if the final destination is a bit off the beaten track or a bit obscure.And in India, "off-the-beaten track" can be a lot more obscure than what is meant by the phrase elsewhere.By calling on the founders' strong engineering background, with a healthy dose of local knowledge, DistancesBetween seems to be heading in the right direction, with the product at least. However, the web traffic at the levels mentioned above will need to work hard to monetize via the current advertising/affiliate model.