TripAdmit gives tour and activity providers the technology to sell via their websites as well as distribution partners such as hotels and airlines.
Dublin-based TripAdmit, which was founded in 2019, has just raised €300,000 in seed funding.
What is your 30‐second pitch to investors?
Do you know the next travel tech megatrend? At €150 billion annually, tours and activities (experiences) comprise the third largest sector in the travel industry – bigger than car rental, package holidays and cruises combined.
Surprisingly, 80% of experiences are still booked offline.
With TripAdmit’s end‐to‐end technology, we are migrating this industry online, connecting activity providers with travellers and distribution partners, opening up the opportunities online sales has to offer, with our simple, flexible and powerful booking software for tours and activities
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
TripAdmit has developed an end‐to‐end solution for activity providers to sell online via their own website and distribute their activities via local and international distribution partners, and, for distribution partners (airlines, campsites, travel agents, hotels and more) to simply and quickly earn ancillary revenue from tours and activities.
Our technology can be deployed to customer sites within a single day. TripAdmit offers live availability at the top attractions around the globe, covering 50,000 experiences in more than 100 countries.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
- Strengths: We have an experienced founding team that has taken the time to talk to our customers and build a suite of very strong core products that solves their problems
- Weaknesses: We currently have a small team, which means that we can’t go as fast as we would like
- Opportunity: 80% of this industry is booked offline. Over 100,000 operators require an online sales solution
- Threats: Disruption to the industry (pandemic). Larger competitor decides to aggressively focus on the distribution partner space
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
TripAdmit is about solving two problems:
Enabling tour and activity providers to sell online via their own website and distribution partners.
Enabling distribution partners, such as airlines, to simply and quickly earn ancillary revenue from tours and activities.
Experiences are currently purchased at ticket desks, over the phone, email, hotel concierge and tourist offices. Transport and accommodation bookings have already moved online.
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Airlines and hotels seek ancillary revenue but lack the capability to build their own ‘experiences solution’. There is an opportunity for them to become distribution partners to an online experience provider.
Legacy OTAs, are not focused on building dedicated B2B2C solutions; they operate as B2C providers. On top of that, the activity providers sell most of their activities offline, and do not have online sales capabilities or technical skillset to start selling online.
We will join the dots between the two worlds to connect tour operators with the tourists that have become accustomed to planning and securing their travel needs online.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?
Having worked in both the airline and tours and activities industries, we are in a good position to know many of the operators on both sides, which we will leverage in the early days of the operation to build up both the customer and distribution partners side of the business.
We will seek relationships with other relevant businesses that can act as an incentivised distribution partner for TripAdmit. We will also be attending, speaking and doing demos at relevant conferences and utilise PR to make product and company announcements.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
Our founder, John Maguire has more than 20 years experience in the travel industry.
After years in the airline industry, and then joining the tours and activity industry, he was surprised at how “offline” the industry was.
Solutions that he had implemented in other sectors of the travel industry were either just not present or in their infancy in the tours and activities sector.
He could see history repeating itself in tours and activities, the last sector of the travel industry to move online and set about being part of that wave.
In our first year, TripAdmit was selected to participate in the top accelerator program in Ireland, NDRC. As part of the program, one of the fundamental principles was ‘Talk to your customers’, find out their problems and solve them.
As a result, we spoke to a significant number of customers and distribution partners and found that, we had a problem worth solving, tour and activity providers wanted to sell online, but more importantly, they wanted a simple solution for it.
Since then, we have continued to conduct detailed market analyses and research, one of our recent studies of 1,400 tour and activity providers in Ireland and France, found that 80% do not have online booking facilities, particularly in rural and regional areas
There are more than 100,000 tour and activity providers and 800 airlines looking for a simple solution to sell tours and activities online, forming an addressable market of €1.2 billion
How and when will you make money?
Our business model is very straightforward, we take a commission from the tour operator which we share with our distribution partners.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?
John Maguire, CEO, with more than 20 years experience working in senior online sales and marketing roles for notable Irish and international travel companies including Aer Lingus, Ticketmaster, Smartbox and City Wonders.
He has in‐depth experience of the industry from both the supplier and distribution partner side. John has a thorough understanding of supplier motivations and requirements from third party distributors.
Andrew Kelly, CTO, is an expert in the fields of artificial intelligence & cognitive science, he has been involved in the development of award‐winning apps and solutions for more than 15 years, including being part of the development team of The Xbox and Office Marketplaces.
Andrew developed gaming apps and experiences with the award‐winning studio, Redwind Software. More recently, Andrew had been working in the Translations Industry, overseeing a team of web developers at Sajan. He has helped found and establish two companies Codeucate and Lacuna Consulting.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
When you are in the very early days, you have an unlimited 'to do' list, where you might be an expert in your direct field, all of a sudden you have to be an expert in every field.
We were fortunate to be part of an accelerator program as this provided us with the structure, direction and guidance we needed to make the right decisions and have the right conversations.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact – so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
We have a great founding team at TripAdmit, we combine the perfect mix of deep technology experience with significant commercial and industry experience.
During our careers, we have both built websites and technology solutions that have generated billions in revenue, we can see the opportunity that is presenting itself and believe that as a €150 billion industry moves online, there will be an ample slice for TripAdmit to take.
We understand that we will not be alone and have taken the time to talk to our customers, solve their problems and built a solution that focusses on the user interface and technology.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?
We hope to be commencing raising our next round of funding with a significant rollout of our solution.
What is your end‐game? (Going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)
As we have already started down the investment path, the end game will most likely be an acquisition after a period of significant growth. However, we do not rule out any future scenario.
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