TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring Italy-based door-to-door travel search engine Movolo.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
Movolo provides a door-to-door search and booking tool, enabling travelers to quickly shortlist and calculate all possible routes by air, land, rail and sea with only one itinerary search.
Any city or even point of interest can be inputted or selected on maps in the proprietary search engine.
Movolo's leadership is headed by a proven management team:
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
- Mauro Montanaro, CEO, former-CEO of Fox Mobile and VP Sales Nokia, Asia Pacific
- Andrea Risa, co-founder and charged with Movolo's sales, marketing and business development.
- Vadims Ilovaiskis, chief financial officer.
- Alberto Genovese, head of online marketing, SEO and partnerships.
- Francesco G Canalis, CTO.
- Gilles Karle, former CTO of Terminal A.
Movolo has been seed funded by founders and two angels. First round was funded by current management team.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Still users need to visit an average of five websites before finding and buying their tickets. We want to make sure they will need to visit only one website, making online travel simple.
Describe the business, core products and services?
Movolo delivers a simple process of locating, selecting and booking door-to-door trips. Currently full international flights combinations (both low costs and traditional) and high speed trains for the Italian market are available for searching and booking directly from Movolo website.
We are totally independent and ads free. Users pay us a small fee only when booking.
We are able to provide unique travel solutions combining low cost with traditional airlines and other means of transport. An example of search on Movolo would be: Leeds to Coliseum and would offer you as results eventually several combinations of low cost flights making you save hundreds of Euros compared to other OTA’s.
Moreover it tells you how to reach the Coliseum from the chosen Airport.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
We are currently marketing the website movolo.it, although an international version is available on Movolo. Therefore our key customers are Italian passengers.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
Yes, we had an extensive beta test period between the summer and now involving hundreds of customers, and we are and will continuously test the robustness of the system and its features
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
Movolo will have diversified streams of revenue derived from booking fees for online sales proportional to the complexity and uniqueness of the search; commissions from global distribution systems and airlines referral programs; commissions from non-air partners like hotels, car rental agencies and insurances.
To base our international team in Latvia helps us to keep our costs low.
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Movolo understands its customers' pain points, and set out to solve specific problems related to travel. Movolo is 100% unique in the following areas: Booking travel from cities with airport(s) to cities without an airport; from cities without an airport to cities without an airport or to points-of- interest; Trains and Buses integrated in one search and one booking; Hotel booking and car rental: Unique 100% relevance based on exact location; as well as booking traditional and low-cost flights on the same itinerary.
- Movolo does not have a global presence and does not offer its website services in any location other than Italy for the time being, though there are plans on opening up Western Europe in the upcoming year.
- International demand for door-to-door flight service and transfers is high.
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
- Movolo is 100% competitive with its strongest competitor(s) on any routes. On the traditional direct major airport to airport volume routes we are at par. As we do not have volume deals with airlines we might be less competitive than some competitors on specific routes. The key threat is timing and communication: we know we have something unique and we have a good advantage over competitors but we need to roll it out soon.
Some potential investors told us that technically what we are doing is too difficult to achieve (one said 50 times Google search complexity) and that we should provide the same off-the-shelf services as everyone else. Someone else said consumers will not buy online trains, buses and ferry tickets.
Others claimed that we would not be able to create a world class, innovative service out of Latvia.
We proved with our Italian and .com site we are able to meet our promise and vision of door to door travel already.
Moreover with large investments in high speed railways and emerging green travel conscience especially in Europe we believe consumers want to check also other alternatives to flights at least for <1,000km routes.
Moreover we think there is a desperate need for the online travel buyer to find all the possible itineraries and best prices in one website, and we want to meet their expectations and beat them.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
- Successful launch in three more countries.
- Full optimization of flights algorithms and integration of European high speed trains, buses and ferries.
- Be in the top seven OTAs in selected countries.
- Higher than Euro average profitability share from non-air products.
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.