Travlled solves the guest data issue, by enabling customers to create and share their unique preference profile with hotels.
Thiemo Hick, based in the Netherlands, founded the company after a career in both hospitality and with SAP's Red sourcing business.
What is your 30‐second pitch to investors?
About 90% of hotel guests are first-time guests which means that hotels don’t know who is staying with them and what the needs and desires of their guests are.
Travlled is the platform build to solve the guest data issue. By enabling guests to create and share their unique preference profile with hotels upfront we turn the tables and bring responsibility and clarity about the data back to the travelers.
Hotels can access those profiles through their own dashboard to get a detailed overview about the information of every single person.
Instead of using broad segments, Travlled makes it finally possible to create really unique and personalized experiences at scale for every single traveler not just repeating guests or to get to the point.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
We are helping both parties the guests and the hotels. With our solution both can add value to the journey and make traveling a deeply personal experience.
Compared to other providers the guest is at the core of our solution and can actively decide which informations should be shared and which informations are private.
Because of the guest involvement hotels don’t have to worry about duplicates, data privacy or outdated data in their system anymore.
Guests can create a profile once and easily share it with every partner hotel. Privacy plays an important role in our business which is why guests actively have to agree and share their profile with the respective hotel. This can be undone at any give time and the profile itself can be changed, updated or deleted when necessary.
For hotels knowing and working with their guests preferences, needs, etc. brings strong advantages and increases not just the guest satisfaction but also the possibilities for up- and cross-selling as well as optimizing working processes within the daily routine.
On our platform no-one but the guest and the hotel has access to a preference profile.
Currently we are working on building integrations to PMS systems in order to simplify the process of profile sharing.
When we have enough feedback from hotels, we will publish a second revised version with adapted features and options.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
- Travlled is going a new way by empowering the guest in the data handling process. This stands out and makes the platform highly valuable as guests have a place to manage their informations securely and hotels have access to high quality, usable guest data.
- We can not guarantee that hotels are using the informations provided by guests. Our part is to build the platform and we cannot influence the execution. We are working on solutions for hotels to easily use these informations and hyper-personalize experiences but in the end hotels need to act accordingly.
- About 90% of guests are first-time guests without any prior point of contact with the hotel.
- At the same time 83% (e.g. survey Accenture) of travelers would share personal informations in order to get a more personalized journey.
- Having a strong database with detailed information about guests creates possibilities for more highly relevant features that are already in planning.
- We hear a lot about data breaches also at big hospitality chains. We need to see how this affects guests and their will to enter personal informations online. Other big players in the market could adapt and try to use their existing user base to build a similar tool.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
The core of a hotel stay are the people and the service delivered through the staff. In this context personalization and dealing with guest data are pain points that are either not solved or difficult to handle at scale.
As hotels want and need to improve quality of experiences in post-pandemic times and guests expect more and more individual service Travlled builds the foundation of scalable personalization.
For hotels this has potential to save money and time as knowing room preferences or physical diseases upfront helps preparing accordingly so that e.g. short-term room changes at check-in can be avoided.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?
We are partnering with hotels to grow the guest awareness and usage. Whenever a person books a hotel the guest will be informed about the possibility to share the profile with the respective hotel. As this user is in turn available for other hotels booked this will increase user base exponentially.
From a hotel perspective we use traditional ways like emails, existing contacts or social media. Also guests have the possibility to recommend and share their profile with every hotel they are staying at. Thereby non-partner hotels will be addressed directly from the guest which will make them interested again.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market?
Coming from the hospitality industry ourselves we know the issue of having old or no data about guests at all. While talking to many different hotels over time we found out that this is a problem for almost everyone.
Other industries have adapted to it for a long time but due to the fragmented hospitality industry it is difficult to create a scalable solution. With about 200.000 hotels worldwide and billions of travelers every year we can affect an entire industry positively.
To unite travelers worldwide in our platform gives opportunities for high growth and more income streams as services will be added over time.
How and when will you make money?
We are making money from the first hotel onwards. Right now our pricing model is simple and includes a fixed monthly fee for the hotels. For guests this service is free of charge.
After hitting our milestones we plan to add a possibility to create and send hyper-personalized up-and cross-selling offers to guests based on their profile and booking history.
For this we take a small commission fee on bookings made through the platform. More services and add-ons are already planned and will come after hitting certain milestones.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your business?
We are still at the beginning of our journey which gives us the opportunity to implement those topics right from the start.
Our founder’s partner is very committed to these issues especially female empowerment and has already written and published a book about it. One of our first responsibilities is therefore dedicated to diversity and inclusion and together with her we set up processes with which we will always have an eye on it.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
Occupancy was low during the pandemic which understandably led many hotels to think short term in order to cover costs. Thereby hotels were difficult to reach or just closed. Without any guests in-house our service was not useful for them.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact ‐ so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
We are targeting a problem that most hotels and most travelers have. State of the art is using big data in order to understand guests better. We are going the other way and actively include guest into this process. If we can reach a relevant size regarding user base it will be difficult to replace us again.
As many big players and startups are focusing on selling nights and rooms we are focusing on a rather neglected area but yet relevant. Many startups can not keep up with the pace of the big travel companies. We decided not to go in direct competition with them what significantly improves our chances of success.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?
In 12 months from now Travlled will work with a three-digit number of hotels and have a five-digit amount of guest using us. We have our first integrations ready and are working on more.
What is your end‐game? (Going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)
Using our platform while traveling will be a normal step like booking hotels online. We want to grow into a well-known brand in the travel industry that connects guests and hotel equally.
To reach every milestone quickly we will need capital from external partners as time plays an important role for us.
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