Routespring's mission is to provide every small and medium-size business access to an enterprise-grade travel solution and premium services at an affordable price.
Based in the U.S., Routespring's founding team has experience with previous travel startups and other sectors including software and healthcare.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
Field sales and retail merchandising teams have unique business travel needs. Most prominent needs are - last-minute travel bookings, centralized payment methods, granular policy controls, and real-time approval process.
In the last 12 months, 96% of the total Routespring travel bookings complied with their policy, 91% of the hotel bookings were for the same day, and 100% of the approvals were processed in real-time.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
Our mission is to provide every small and medium-size business access to an enterprise-grade travel solution and premium services at an affordable price. We are experts in handling highly mobile field teams.
Our in-house customer success team is accessible through multiple channels at all times just to make sure that road-warriors achieve their business goals successfully and reach home safely.
- Enables finance team to effectively control travel spend with ability to configure policy at granular level (e.g. set relative price limit based on lowest logical fare)
- Enables managers with real-time approval process to allow flexibility with control
- Allows travelers to book hotels until 5 am next morning with provision of extensive prepaid inventory
- Provides ability to configure central corporate billing method so that the field reps don’t need to pay out of pocket and the admin team don’t need to process reimbursements
- Ensures mobility in booking travel on the go through user-friendly mobile app and responsive travel service desk
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
- We have experienced team of founders with $2B+ in exits
- We are specialized in a niche underserved market segment of retail and consumer goods businesses with huge field sales and merchandising teams. Our competitors have failed to address the specific needs of this segment - last-minute bookings, granular policy configurations, real-time approval process.
- Currently, our product is integrated with a limited number of other complementing software solutions. In the near future, we intend to integrate with as many as possible to support our growth and demand.
- Retail and consumer goods businesses are underserved by other established travel management companies. By creating solutions curated just for this segment, Routespring has opportunities to stand out in the market as well as to create demand by making it affordable for businesses to move from unmanaged to managed business travel.
- Pandemic has changed the market trends which has a significant impact on the business travel industry. The recovery of business travel is still uncertain and it limits the growth opportunities.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
For the businesses with field sales and retail merchandisers, the cost of travel directly impacts the cost of goods and services. This leads to the need for having effective policy controls to optimize travel spend.
To solve this, Routespring has created an ability to configure policies at a granular level with flexibility to process approvals in real-time.
On average, 96% of the Routespring travel bookings comply with their travel policy, which explains how easy we make it on both sides of travel - admin as well as traveler.
At employee level, the territory assignment for field sales and merchandisers typically changes on a weekly basis, which doesn’t give much room for advance travel planning.
Additionally, when in the field, the travelers are uncertain at which location their day will end. Both these factors lead to making last minute travel bookings
In the last 12 months, 91% of the Routespring hotel bookings were made for the stay on the same day. We make this possible by allowing travelers to book a hotel room until 5 a.m next morning. Plus, we have equipped our support team to handle any last minute requests - 98% of the support requests are answered within 60 seconds.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?
- Targeted ad campaigns on social media, Google, and select magazines
- Maintain presence on popular product review sites, such as G2 and Capterra
- Targeted email marketing
- Outbound prospecting
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We ran targeted surveys and conducted market research by interviewing potential customers to identify common trends and needs.
This helped us to identify the gap in the market and to establish a specialised solution to meet the particular needs of retail and consumer goods businesses. Our estimate of the total addressable market is $53 billion.
How and when will you make money?
We have a usage based pricing model - we charge per active user per month. Currently, our monthly run rate is $26,000.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?
- Tarun Upaday (CEO) is a successful serial entrepreneur, who previously co-founded hCentive, GlobalLogic and Pinelabs. All three of the previous companies grew to value more than $100M and grew more than 100% year on year during his stay with the companies.
- Hitesh Sharma (CTO) is tech-leader with experience in building strong engineering teams at multiple early stage start-ups. In the past, he has been co-founder of Anduril Technologies and has also been the CTO of Spice Labs and Crownit.
- Anup Sheshadri (VP of Products) has over 5 years of experience in the travel industry and is an experienced product leader who ruthlessly focuses on customer experience and drives product vision and strategy.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your business?
We believe that diversity and inclusion is the foundation of the company’s success. We are committed to embrace diversity with pride - both in the marketplace and in the workplace.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
Despite the challenges of pandemic, we have been able to grow our business steadily. But our teams are forced to work remotely and that has limited our team-building activities.
It is, however, impressive to see how our team has adapted to this new normal and continues to add value in our virtual workplace.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact - so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
Our product has already proved to create an impact in the niche segment we serve. Beyond technology, we truly care for our travelers and the companies we serve. With these strengths and our experienced team of founders, we are optimistic to continue to see growth.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?
In the past 12 months we have helped field teams visit stores in more than 2000 destinations. In a year from now, we hope to have served 5000 destinations.
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)
Our goal is to continue to grow. We are open to strategic partnerships to explore mutually benefitting business relations. In the foreseeable future, we intend to stay private.
PhocusWire's Startup Stage
Learn more about our profiling of new travel companies and how to apply.