SBC Travel is a new online travel agency that accepts
cryptocurrency. It is launching with an inventory of 175,000 hotels and
accommodation providers in more than 185 countries, primarily powered by Hotelbeds.
The company is led by Daryn Griggs, CEO of Swiss Bloc Capital,
a Swiss holding company that owns Singapore-based SBC Travel. Bookings paid with cryptocurrency receive a more discounted rate than those booked with other forms of payment.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your
SBC Travel is a crypto-friendly online travel agency
established to primarily service parent company Swiss Bloc Capital’s community
of digital currency owners to offer deep discounts on travel‐related products
and services. SBC Travel will also accept traditional payment methods such as
credit cards and bank transfers as well alternate payment methods such as
Alipay and WeChat Pay.
SBC Travel also offers a blockchain-powered rewards
program, rewarding customers with Global Travel Token (GTX) cryptocurrency each time they book travel
or shop at an affiliated partner. Other technology includes an online booking
engine and mobile app. Technology to support our corporate clients (online booking
tool, reconciliation platform and corporate mobile app) will be introduced in
What inspired you to create this company?
SBC Travel parent company Swiss Bloc Capital launched a
digital currency into the Asian market in May 2018 called the Global Travel
Token (GTX). One of the benefits of the GTX was to have access to discounted
travel. SBC Travel was started to initially service this requirement but has
since evolved into being more than a closed user group travel agency by opening
up the business to other crypto communities and the general public.
will complete the acquisition of land-based travel agency Dream Holidays
Planner by the end of January 2019, which will provide SBC Travel access to
more market segments.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
Threats) analysis of the company.
- Strengths: SBC Travel has a large and growing customer base
of GTX owners, and with the acquisition of Dream Holidays Planner, another
established loyal customer base will be available.
- Weaknesses: SBC Travel currently offers hotel inventory to
customers via a relationship with Hotelbeds. SBC Travel is also looking to
establish direct relationships with hotels. However, other travel products such
as airlines and rental cars are not available to be purchased on the site.
- Opportunities: There is an opportunity to make the SBC
Travel platform available to other communities, either by private label or co-branding.
There is also an opportunity to add air and rental cars to the product
offering. There is also an opportunity to add travel management company capability
to the business to attract corporate clients.
- Threats: Competition is always a threat and also regulators
changing the way crypto can be used and accepted.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate
from both the customer and the industry perspective?
SBC Travel’s vision is to be the travel agent of choice for
the crypto community and other closed user groups. The initial pain point being
addressed is to allow GTX holders the ability to get value from their tokens by
accessing very low-cost travel options.
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There are also other large communities
out there who are looking for a “value add” for members, and this is where
SBC Travel’s private label or co-brand program can help establish the same
benefit that GTX users have access to.
SBC Travel is unique in the fact that it
accepts alternate forms of payment and allows all of the platforms and
technology to be private labeled by other businesses who want to be seen as
providing a travel service to the customers and members.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of
SBC Travel already has access to over 150,000 GTX owners, and
as GTX adoption grows so will SBC Travel’s customer base. SBC Travel will also
start offering service to corporate clients by mid-2019.
SBC Travel recently
hired a very experienced digital marketing expert to promote SBC Travel to GTX
members, other community groups and businesses by pay-per-click, SEO and social media.
SBC Travel will also recruit corporate sales business development managers to
focus on this segment.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a
genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We have established a need by providing a token that has
strong benefits for travel. The addressable market is anyone holding cryptocurrency or who loves to travel.
How and when will you make money?
SBC Travel is projected to breakeven in Q1 2019. SBC Travel
derives revenue from exchanging GTX and other non-fiat currencies to fiat as
well as by earning fees on private label opportunities. The Dream Holidays Planner
acquisition will contribute traditional travel agent revenue as well.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the
founding team, and why do you have what it takes to succeed with this business?
The founding team has deep experience in hospitality, payments
and financial markets, which will lead the business to success. SBC Travel's CEO
has over 25 years of payments experience and recently was head of commercial for
52 hotels in Australia and New Zealand. SBC Travel's CTO has over 30 years
experience with payments, rewards and hospitality technology.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business
Regulatory and compliance has taken the longest time, however
we are past that hurdle now.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making
an impact ‐ so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
Because of the large established customer base, which continues
to grow, as well as our focus on niche communities to promote our products and
PhocusWire Startup Stage
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