Tashi provides the drag-and-drop tools, integrations and
templates to easily create and launch a peer-to-peer travel marketplace.
Launched in 2020, Tashi says it currently powers five marketplaces
and aims to have 20 by the end of 2022.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
With Tashi's no-code software platform for travel
marketplaces, you can create, configure and launch your own Airbnb style peer-to-peer
marketplace for 1% of the time and cost of a custom-built solution. We're
powering a growing army of travel marketplaces that are becoming a counterpoint
to the global players like Airbnb, Booking, Ctrip and Expedia.
We launched in
2020, and we're already powering five live marketplaces, with another five due to
launch by late-2021. Booking.com picked us as one of the Top 10 Sustainable
Travel startups globally. Our customers already include the International
Development Bank and large travel groups in the United States, Australia, India
and South Africa.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your
We’re taking the tech out of launching a new marketplace for
the people building the next Airbnb. Our platform has on one side the
enterprise-grade back-office tools and integrations you’ll need if you want to
scale millions of suppliers and guests with a drag and drop front end builder
so that you can customize your features and the look and feel. We’ve got the
back-office integrations like payment gateways, channel managers and online travel
agent connections that you need. Our advanced supplier booking system can also
cater to the vast array of product requirements for accommodation, multi-day
and day tours, and activity providers. And on the front end, our pre-built
templates and drag and drop content management system make it simple for our
customers to configure their marketplace to their requirements and launch in a
lean and quick way.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
Threats) analysis of the company.
- Strengths: We have an unbeatable combination of technology
expertise and domain experience. Mac Gaughan (co-founder) previously founded
his own travel marketplace and learned the do’s and don’t’s on how to do it,
and Tom Schäuble (co-founder) has built platforms that have processed billions
of dollars in revenue.
- Weaknesses: Capital. COVID has hampered our initial capital
raising, so we focused on building our platform and steadily growing our user
base to build a strong investment case for when travel volumes resume.
- Opportunities: Every travel marketplace needs the exact same
features and functionality to help guests book and suppliers onboard themselves.
We’ve built an advanced platform and a suite of Apps to let our customers mix
and match the marketplaces features to suit their needs.
- Threats: Naturally, the largest OTAs are the biggest threat
to our customers and thereby us. While they continue to grow, they continue to
stifle innovation and consolidate resources in the hands of fewer and fewer
people. We’re going to change that.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate
from both the customer and the industry perspective?
It's always been too expensive, and it's taken too much time
to launch a new travel marketplace. This barrier to entry has stifled
competition and restricted the options available to customers. New travel
marketplaces have the choice of starting a poor cheap MVP on WordPress that breaks
as soon as you start to grow or an expensive $100,000+ custom-built platform
that takes six-plus months and that cost startups critical time and money when
they want to launch.
These poor or expensive options have always proved a barrier
to those looking to launch new travel marketplaces, and they've been on the
back foot since day one. We've got the back-office integrations like payment
gateways, channel managers and online travel agent (OTA) connections that you
need. Our advanced supplier booking system can also cater to the vast array of
product requirements for accommodation, tour, and activity providers. On the
front end, our pre-built templates and drag and drop content management system makes
it simple for our customers to configure their marketplace to their
requirements and launch in a lean and quick way.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of
We've already gotten a lot of inbound interest from travel
entrepreneurs, destination management organizations (DMOs) and existing travel
marketplaces that want to upgrade their platform. We've signed on ten marketplaces
with five live already, and they have over 2,000 vendors - accommodation
providers and tours and activity operators set up and selling.
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As the leading provider of a peer-to-peer travel marketplace
software, we've already ranked number one on Google for related search terms. We've
grown from inbound sales to date through brand development, travel industry partnerships
and investment in search engine optimization around targeted keywords.
As we grow our community of travel marketplaces, from five
live now to 20 by the end of 2022 and 100 by 2025, we'll steadily grow our SEO
footprint and domain authority.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a
genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market?
I (Mac) founded a travel marketplace three years ago called
Clean Travel. Cleantravel.org became the home for the best sustainable travel
experiences on the planet. But when I started, I was full of energy, optimistic
and naturally naïve! Building the marketplace tech was a huge pain. I launched
on WordPress and engaged a team of poorly paid, barely interested developers in
Vietnam via UpWork. I spent hours learning how to navigate WP and its plug-ins
so that I could tell my team exactly what they needed to do. I had to figure
out what I wanted to do, learn how it could be done and then describe, in exact
detail, to the developers what I wanted. It was an exhausting and expensive
lesson to learn. But it's a familiar story we hear from countless travel
entrepreneurs that have approached us to learn more about our no-code platform
for travel marketplaces. They're excited about what they're building and eager
to launch with Tashi because we've removed the tech barrier to launching a
The market opportunity, despite COVID-19, is huge. The total
addressable market (TAM) for accommodation and tours globally is $3.4 trillion,
with the serviceable address market (SAM) at $1.5 trillion. These figures came
from Airbnb's S-1 filing prior to their IPO in December 2020.
How and when will you make money?
You can launch with the base version of our travel
marketplace platform for a reasonable deployment fee and then purchase apps to
increase its functionality. We then have a monthly fee that only rises in line
with our customer's success.
Example apps include: guest “manage by booking” portal; peer-to-peer
messaging; channel management integrations; accounting system integrations; gift
card management. That means our customers are launch lean and that our
revenue grows directly in line with our customers’ success.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the
Tashi is our life's work. I (Mac) started a Himalayan-focused
trekking company 10 years ago during a three-year stint in Nepal. I went on to
found a travel marketplace three years ago called Clean Travel. Cleantravel.org
became the home for the best sustainable travel experiences on the planet. It
also taught me a mountain of invaluable lessons along the way. When I teamed up
with Tom a few years ago, we set out to solve this problem. Tom has worked as a
developer for over 20 years. He's built eCommerce sites that have processed
over $100 million and a trade contract system with over $1.4 billion worth of
deals under management. In 2015 he founded his first startup, RoomRanger, a
hotel management system while living in Peru. Together, we've come to solve a
huge problem for travel entrepreneurs, and we've never been more excited about
what the future holds.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your
As a migrant to Australia, I’m acutely aware of the biases
that can exist below the surface in a work environment. We’re an equal
opportunities employer and in the process of becoming a B Corp, so making our
work environment welcoming to people from all backgrounds is paramount to our mission
as a business.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business
COVID has been a huge challenge for obvious reasons. We
launched in March 2020 – literally JUST as COVID was gathering pace! Talk about
timing! But we’re optimistic that having weather this storm, we’re ready to
rebuild travel, one marketplace at a time. We’ve never been more excited about
where we see the industry is going. Five years from now, Tashi growing army of
niche travel marketplace surge will be taking on the behemoths of the travel
industry and winning!
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making
an impact – so why are you going to be one of the lucky ones?
Our early traction and inbound interest to date tell us that
we've hit a huge pain point for travel entrepreneurs and businesses. Across the
board, the no-code movement is knocking down the tech barrier and leading to the
growth of the creator economy within ECommerce, music, video and news. The next
generation of entrepreneurs, the people that will build the next Airbnb, won't
be coders. We're the no code marketplace solution for the travel industry and
already the global leaders in this exciting emerging space.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will
A year from now, we'll be powering 20 travel marketplaces,
which are doing $100 million in bookings per year. We'll be two years into our
5-year plan to be powering 100 travel marketplaces doing $1 billion in bookings
per year by 2025.
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing
and staying private, etc.)
We’re building an army of travel marketplaces that will act
as a genuine counterpoint to the current global players like Booking.com,
Expedia, Airbnb and C-Trip. We’ll continue building and growing until we
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