Tripbox wants to show life remains in the online travel agency modelNewsBy Kevin May | January 26, 2012Share This article was originally published on TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring UK-based Tripbox, a online travel agency focusing on low-cost hotels, travel ancillaries and flights.Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?Tripbox was born out of the need to provide cheap holidays for friends and family. Tripbox has since evolved into a fully fledged online travel agency, selling holidays to the wider public whilst adhering to its low cost ethos.It was founded by Savio Fernandes, a travel enthusiast with experience in software development and design.What financial support did you have to launch the business?Tripbox has been bootstrapped up to this point; however, we do have some exciting ideas that need developing which may require us to raise capital in the future.What problem are you trying to solve?Searching for a holiday on the web can be a stressful experience, not helped by the gaudy colour schemes and deals and advertisements that usually clutter travel websites.So, we wanted to develop a website where the holiday search experience would be enjoyable with the information always displayed in a comprehensible manner.Describe the business, core products and services?Tripbox sells low-cost hotels, travel ancillaries and flights to a wide array of destinations. The website is plugged into most major bed banks and ancillary suppliers offering great choice to customers.Who are your key customers and users at launch?Our key customers are couples and families mostly interested in beach holidays. Our main age demographic is 18 – 40 years old.Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?Customers have commended Tripbox for its fresh look and straight forward booking process.What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?Tripbox is solely reliant on online bookings and does not take bookings over the phone. This results in low running costs and helps us sell holidays at a cheaper price.SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?Strengths: Engaging website with an inspiring, clean and consistent layout different from the homogenous ‘travel agency’ look.Search results only display the essential information in an intuitive manner and a range of easy to use filters help make the volume of information easily comprehensible for the user.Straightforward booking process.Sell holidays as cheap as possible. Weaknesses: New player in a very crowded marketplace and lacking brand awareness.Reliant on data from slow third party content providers. Opportunities: Build a steady customer base as users become more price conscious. Threats: Larger, well-established online travel agencies.Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of support from people who have appreciated our concepts from the very beginning.We did have some people say that good design is not the thing that may attract and inspire customers, but we believe that design coupled with low prices make a very effective combination.What is your success metric 12 months from now?In 12 months time, we hope to have found a good foot hold with a decent customer base, aware of our brand and our low prices.We would also like to further enhance our site and include some interesting features which are in a conceptual stage at the moment. NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.