TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring UK-based metasearch site Directflights.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
Directflights.com is a leading flight and travel comparison site. Rob Stross is managing director, with a background in travel, media and online. He used to be MD of TNT Magazine and has come recently from a similar company, Global Travel Market.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
What problem are you trying to solve?
The complex way flight comparison sites often deliver information. Our approach has been two-fold - to focus on simply design/layout and deliver flights results as quickly as possible
Describe the business, core products and services?
Directflights.com allows users to search for a flight, hotel or holiday to find the best price to match their needs.
Our flight search (90% of traffic) displays flight information in a unique grid display to allow the user to compare all flight options in one page. We deliver live prices to consumers via xml feeds to ensure targeted traffic for agency partners.
Our green flight search also allows users to find the most carbon friendly flight to minimise their impact on the environment. We are all about choice - allowing the user to find the best flight to match their needs and save both time and money
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Trade travel agency partners in the site. Consumers – anyone looking to search for a flight and book a holiday
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
Yes, we undertook an extensive market research campaign to identify a gap in a competitive market
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
We charge travel agency partners 50p per lead for every user that comes from our site
To drive traffic as well as online marketing and SEO activity we will look at introducing a range of white label partners who can integrate our flight search on their site, generate income and drive traffic to our network
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Unique grids display format for flights.
- Unique green flight search.
- Great URL.
- Small business means we can move quickly in a fluid market.
- Green flight search will become an increasingly important choice factor for consumers
- International opportunities to expand the business – USA
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
- Google launching into the market will shake things
A few people have warned about how entering a competitive market. We didn’t listen to them, because we identified clearly what consumers wanted and responded to their needs.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
Traffic – 500k UU’s per month.
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.