TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring UK-based Travesse, a new flash sale hotel accommodation site.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
Amir Azulay, entrepreneur and corporate finance backgrounds, sold my mobile value added services company to iTouch PLC (was listed on LSE) in 2000.
Remained as CEO through 2003 and then joined the PLC management in London. Have been involved with several startups helping the founders with strategy and leading their funding rounds.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
We acquired the assets from Travesse Limited. To do this we raised cash from high net worth individuals.
What problem are you trying to solve?
We allow people to travel to exceptional luxurious destinations for affordable prices. This is a win-win situation for our members, the hotels and ourselves.
With our link to The Travel Editor website, it allows us to recommend fantastic experiences around the area our members are travelling to. We want people to "experience the exceptional" for affordable prices.
Describe the business, core products and services?
The core business is divided into two websites: Travesse.com and TheTravelEditor.com, both have different goals and different business models.
However, they serve the same purpose of making Flash Sales Ltd a unique provider of fantastic deals for our members and site visitors. Our goal is to provide the experience and not just a room.
The travel editor is blog of hundreds of top travel journalists. It allows them to publish their content with us, and we are building four main revenue streams that will come from this ongoing influx of quality content.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Our key customers at launch are the travel loving public of the UK, people that want to get away and experience luxury while they are at it.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
Sure, we had orders
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
We take a mark up on great deals we provide our members. We also have an ad model and other models for The Travel Editor (TTE) website.
The strategy is to create a premium online service for travellers globally. The uniqueness will be the experience you can have with us. We aim to expand globally very quickly through our network of professional partners.
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Management, quality product, quality editorial via TTE, strong presence, one of the first in the market, TTE very well established site and five year old domain.
- Under financed (in process of getting more funding), understaffed (building top quality experienced team)
- Integration partners, internationalisation, cross pollinate revenue generation across both sites
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
- Many online booking sites, relatively small barriers to entry for flash sales sites
No, au contraire, everyone loves our site
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
We will have:
- Travesse: One million members across five territories.
- The Travel Editor will be released in every single English speaking country globally.
- We will have generated in excess of 40,000 room nights.
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.