Guide121 provides users what it calls a “playlist,” which is
a suggested sequence of destinations, attractions and events displayed on a
digital map. The system cross-references information from the user and from the
sites to ensure it is only suggesting options that are open and available.
Guide121 combines online, self-service information with the
option to receive assistance from a bot or a human agent. The company is working with hotels and resorts that want to provide
the digital guides on their websites.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your
Guide121 is an intelligent platform that proposes to revolutionize
the tourism industry and the way people travel and explore this world, allowing
customized itineraries and assistance in real time. Our solution is an online, intelligent
platform that is aligned with the global trend of empowering the user to make
more assertive decisions.
The travelers can put the dates of the trip, their
preferences, make their own itineraries or just follow our suggestions. They
can as well see information about attractions and events, receive notifications
and start a chat with us.
São Paulo, Brazil
What inspired you to create this company?
Many things: travel frustrations and a desire to discover a
new way to travel, to help travelers make the most of their trip according to
their interests and to help businesses and cities to know more about their
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
Threats) analysis of the company.
- Strengths: Strong team, robust information, technology
support, real-time assistant, intelligence for business, consumer behavior
- Weaknesses: Brand awareness in B2C, validating product
market fit, bootstrapping model.
- Opportunities: Open new destinations, start new sectors such
as events, cruise, etc., go deeper in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things integration.
- Threats: Big companies acting in tourism, lack of
destination technology infrastructure.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate
from both the customer and the industry perspective?
Pain points: travel frustration due to superficial or no travel planning; travelers that don't know what to do in the destination and feel lost; travelers who feel unsafe traveling alone.
We are working to solve the low
assertiveness of information to plan trips in a personalized way and also to
make decisions during the trip.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of
We are currently offering free access for B2C users to plan
their trips. Soon they will be able to purchase extra services and contract
directly through the app, such as real‐time support.
In relation to B2B
(resorts, hotels, events, travel operators), we can get their leads, so with one
B2B customer we can reach a lot of people to consume our platform and the
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a
genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We were selected to participate in an accelerator process in
the most relevant ecosystem of the Campinas region in Brazil in 2017. During
the program we changed the business according to the travel pain discovered
with design thinking and empathy interviews.
In 2018 from a pilot project with
Aviva Group in Rio Quente Resorts, we validated the model using real travelers,
helping them to plan their trip and answering their travel questions.
If we analyze tourism as a socio‐economic lever that
represents 10% of global GDP and employs millions of people, we can explore
Guide121 in all tourist destinations, even in big centers that concentrate a
lot of people, and they can use it as a "smart city" solution.
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How and when will you make money?
B2C users can plan for free their trip, and soon they will be
able to purchase extra services and contract directly through the app, such as
digital concierge. For B2B, we have three important pillars to monetize:
drawing experiences in parks, hotels, resorts, cruises and events; playlists - our term for curated guides - sponsored by brands, such as Redbull; and real‐time assistance as a premium service (for hotels and
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the
founding team, and why do you have what it takes to succeed with this business?
Co-founder and CEO Clarissa Santiago has a background in engineering and experience
as an innovation manager. She is responsible for overall business and strategy,
as well as activities that have to do with creating, communicating and
delivering offerings that have value for travelers or business partners.
Ribeiro is trained in logistics and business management and has worked several
years for Azul Airlines. She is responsible for overall operations,
implementing plans and policies, ensuring the successful management of the
business and setting future strategy.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business
Trying to change the way tourism has been done for years to
promote a new way of traveling.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making
an impact ‐ so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
We are focused on creating a great strategy, and we work
hard for exceptional execution. It is the consequence of accomplishing a great
job in an industry that is outdated. This generates value to the
travelers through a certain trip and it provides intelligence to the businesses.
PhocusWire Startup Stage
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