TLabs Showcase - CarsolizeNewsBy Kevin May | January 11, 2011Share This article was originally published on TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring Israel-based B2B booking engine system Carsolize.Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?We are a team of hi-tech professionals, and business entrepreneurs. With first-hand expertise in the online-travel industry, we strive to create empowering online travel solutions, which will enable travel entrepreneurs to effectively competeThe team is led by: Andrey Spektor – an Israeli Business Entrepreneur, with a rich track record of success, and extensive expertise within the online travel indsutry.Sales and Marketing is Managed by Nikolai Avrutov – a Canadian educated business professional and an entrepreneur himself.Visual Design and User Experience is managed by Leonid Jack – an accomplished Israeli art-director. Our development team is comprised of accomplished professionals, with an impressive track record of success in various start-ups as well as in established corporate environments, and strong academic background.What financial support did you have to launch the business?We are privately fundedWhat problem are you trying to solve?We have recognized a void, in online-travel booking solutions. Without significant capital investment, online travel entrepreneurs had (until now) little choice but to become low-margin travel affiliates of established travel entities.We’ve made it our goal to create an affordable, complete, travel-booking solution, scalable to suit the needs of various members of the industry.Describe the business, core products and services?Our main product is Carsolize – a modular travel booking solution.We’ve integrated a large amount of travel products suppliers (car rent, hotels, etc’), and combined them into a uniform booking engine. Unlike search and refer solutions, the engine allows for on-site transaction completion, providing travel entrepreneurs with: Complete control over profit marginsRetaining customers for future sales Beyond content and material benefits, Carsolize extends its booking engine onto mobile and social applications, which further enhance customer interaction, and marketing opportunities.Who are your key customers and users at launch?All of our current customers are small and mid-size Online Travel Agencies, and Travel Affiliates – each end every one of them considered key for our business.Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?Yes. In fact, the product design stemmed from our involvement in several online travel ventures – that’s where we recognized and understood the need for complete, cost effective, socially connected, and empowering Travel Booking Solution.What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?Clients required paying an initial licensing fee and a (low fee) per transaction.SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?Strenghts: Three years of experience in the online travel industryExisting contacts with suppliersExceptional development staffSocial Media expertiseRapid ROI for our customers Weaknesses: High cost of developmentComplex licensing requirements worldwideWe are new to the market. Opportunities: No other company offers comparable supplier selection, at such a low licensing costTravel industry is currently in search of viable mobile and social applications.Presently, a large amount of travel entrepreneurs are limited to low-margin affiliate options, and are looking for growth opportunities and tech. Solutions. Threats: Development cycle may take too long to complete – limited funding.Many strategic suppliers are difficult to integrate.Sustainable sales stage can be reached too late.Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?Several industry experts doubted the relevancy of our solutions – discounting the importance small and mid-size Online Travel Agencies, and the significance of Social and Mobile Media.We did not listen to them, trusting the feedback we got from those small and mid size agencies, who confirmed time and time again their need for cost effective solutions, which offer highly competitive content on one hand, and provide for double-digit profit margin potential on the other.What is your success metric 12 months from now?12 Months for now we expect to: Triple the number of our travel product suppliers.Equip over 50 OTAs with our solution.Launch innovative and unique mobile and social media applications. Here is a clip:httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gPiicJXhUc NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.