TravelaBunch brings group bookings to travel experiencesNewsBy Kevin May | December 30, 2011Share This article was originally published on TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring UK-based TravelaBunch, a new platform for finding and booking travel experiences for groups.Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?TravelaBunch inspires people for great travel experiences with their friends and offers a simple group booking tool.The company was founded in November 2011 by three young entrepreneurs who all love to travel and enjoy great travel experiences. Mariano Kostelec has a background in fast-growing startups having worked on the international expansion of Groupon and Wimdu in Asia.Ben Grech recently left the private equity fund HIG Capital to focus on his passion for travelMiguel Santo Amaro recently completed a Masters in Global Entrepreneurship at Babson College, splitting his time between France, China and the USA.Leo Lara has over ten years experience in scaling and developing web applications and has worked at ARM and other startups in the past.What financial support did you have to launch the business?Bootstrapped and self-funded at the moment.What problem are you trying to solve?TravelaBunch solves two major problems. Most people love to travel and share great experiences with their friends.However, they often lack ideas for great holiday experiences or think it’s too expensive or too complicated to organize something more unique and exciting.Moreover, one person usually has to take full responsibility of collecting all the money and making the booking, complicating things even further.Describe the business, core products and services?TravelaBunch sources and packages amazing travel experiences for friends travelling together, while offering great value for money.Our innovative group booking functionality makes it simple to book and share the cost with everyone in the group.We make finding a holiday an entertaining and enjoyable experience, giving people inspiration with specific travel experiences for them to book.We also use the fact that people travel together to minimize price per head (e.g. using villas and chalets, rather than hotels), and we offer a simple booking tool allowing them to split the price among everyone in the group.Who are your key customers and users at launch?TravelaBunch targets young people, 18-34, who are adventurous and travel more than once a year.Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?We have received very positive feedback from potential customers and suppliers before launching, validating our proposition.We’re currently working on a prototype.What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?We source and package travel experiences and we take a small commission on each experience we sell.We make an effort to prepare unique packages that people would have not imagined they could get.SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?Strengths: We have a solid value proposition and the ability to develop the businessPartnerships with selected suppliers Weaknesses: After we prove the demand for our service other people might try to copy our business and offer the same proposition Opportunities: More and more people are looking for inspiration to find more exciting holidays, creating a large demand for our offering Threats: Large companies actively competing for our customersOther online travel providers entering our niche of travel experiences for groupsWho advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?The feedback we have received so far has been extremely positive.What is your success metric 12 months from now?Be recognized as a leading travel experiences provider.Established strong partnerships with our suppliers.Provided excellent service to our customers. NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.