TLabs Showcase - TravelJournalNewsBy Kevin May | May 21, 2010Share This article was originally published on TLabs focus on startups featuring Israel-based TravelJournal.Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?TravelJournal has been created by Yossi Fefer (art) and Yigal Ben Efraim (brain).We are two seasoned internet entrepreneurs from Israel. We've spend the last couple of years with Quigo, an advertising technology pioneer that was sold in 2007 to AOL for about $370million.Yigal is also the founder of STANDS4, a leading provider of free online reference resources that has been on the web for ten years now, has won prestigious awards and serves millions of unique visitors worldwide through websites such as Abbreviations.com, Quotes.net and more.What financial support did you have to launch the business?The Quigo exit allowed us to take the time and money to plan and build TravelJournal.What problem are you trying to solve?From the dawn of civilization exploration and discovery was at the core of human culture, with travel writing laying the foundations to knowledge and history. For centuries travel journals became men's primary source of information of the world around him. Although over the years they have taken different shapes and forms, travel journals always kept the spirit of their original essence.We're now bringing this great and important cultural activity to the web.Describe the business, core products and services?TravelJournal is the latest, most advanced online authoring and publishing platform for travel writing. TravelJournal provides elegant and intuitive tools, up to the moment geo-related information, plenty of useful resources and the professional and experienced community – all in a state of the art and fun environment created specifically for travellers.There are many travel website around, a dime a dozen, TravelJournal made a significant effort to stand out of the crowd. We've created a custom engine for beautiful maps, not the 2-minutes-implementation Google maps everyone else uses, a sophisticated crawlers for travel alerts which uses several authoritative sources such as the U.S. Department of State to warn travellers about potential issues in real time based on their location, and build a huge geographic database that covers almost any location on earth.Who are your key customers and users at launch?Our platform is aimed at the travellers community, and we believe will become a perfect travel companion for any modern adventurer, be it first-time travellers, seasoned explorers or experienced traveling writers, wherever they are.Our natural customers would be travel agents, hotel chains, airlines, trip planners and travel commodity sellers.Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?We're not really reinventing the wheel here, just trying to make it work better and in a more fun and convenient way.What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?Nothing fancy here: advertising, sponsorships, affiliates, premium services, etc.Travel related advertising is one of the highest paying in the online world. We believe that the well-targeted and quality audience of TravelJournal will attract premium advertisers and sponsors.We expect this and the currently-in-stealth-mode premium services to generate a significant amount of revenue on the long run.SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?There are many players in the travel blogging field, some of them are well established and backed up by large media companies. It'll be a tough competition but we think we have the talent, experience and patience to be a leader in this lucrative business. Owning the category killing domain would probably won't hurt...Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?No one frankly, and we probably wouldn't have listened anyhow...What is your success metric 12 months from now?We've just started but we do aim high and expect to get a significant market share of the travel blogging arena and build a live and enthusiastic community in a relatively short while.In the mean time we're going to work on improving the system, adding more features from our endless feature set, and work on bringing high quality content in.A major initiative we're going to launch very soon is a journal writing contest with prizes reaching $25,000.TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.