Ardor Travels has been
in development for about 18 months and just launched its subscription-based
travel management platform last Tuesday.
The platform is
intended for small- to mid-size businesses and offers a unified system for
business travel and expense management.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
Imagine having everything you need - and more - for
small- to mid-size business travel like hotel, air and car bookings and reporting
and expense management at your fingertips for the best
prices available. Let me introduce you to Ardor Travels – the next generation
of business travel and expense management technology. This all-in-one platform
has a mission to reduce cost and maximize savings all while enhancing the traveler
experience and streamlining organizational efficiency.
booking engine accepts multiple currencies and offers real-time reporting, travel
desk functionality, the ability to book for a colleague and a process for management approval.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of
Traveling for business is a complete pain. It’s
hard on team members: some are crew-based businesses and workers that need to
be away from home, often on a regular basis. It’s also expensive for
organizations. Costs add up. But here are the facts: Many businesses need to
be on the road for business. Zoom and Teams calls only go so far – and right
now we are at the edge. Real connections and long-standing relationships are
made face-to-face. Employees make sacrifices being away from home, family and
their personal lives.
Ardor has the tools and technology to make business travel easier
and more effective for both employees and the company. Ardor provides companies tools to simplify the process as well as access
to personal and family travel at discounts. Ardor Travels is serving this
community and capturing members that gain great benefits throughout the journey.
Our subscription-based business model is simple. Provide
great savings, on a wide variety of travel options. And make it easy and
affordable to set up and customize the platform for each company and traveler.
These are the pillars of our business.
On top of this we have layered in:
- Access from any device including mobile app
downloads from Apple (iOS) and Google (Android)
- Easy installation, set up and customization through
your own mid-office
- An admin portal for access to a very robust
- Affordable pricing for members
- Options for “buy now pay later”
- Options for multiple languages and currencies
- The ability to make bookings at restaurants, tours
and attractions and golf courses - coming soon
- Accrue loyalty points (Ardor Coin)
- An influencer code that can be used by family or
friends and will give you additional loyalty points
- Excellent customer care
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
- Privately owned, equity-backed
- Lower costs and gain better insights through one
integrated platform giving you advanced workflows, detailed reporting and
AI-powered automation tools within our booking software
- Real-time dynamic pricing is coupled with manager
approval functionality and the power to download detailed reports instantly
- The widest choice of flights and hotels across tiers
and locations - our curated inventory is designed to exceed the needs of
business travelers with an unrivaled personalized booking experience
- A completely integrated platform that has been built
from the ground up to dominate this space
- Wholesale rates that are not available to the
public. We estimate savings between 25 to 45% off most bookings
- Easy to install - we can get you up and running in
- Cost to start is significantly less than legacy
- Detailed reporting that will help you manage travel
expenses in real time
- Limited brand awareness for our product
- Currently in early adopter phase roll-out
- As business travel makes a comeback, Ardor is
positioned to help small- to mid-size businesses get back to traveling for
- To gain word of mouth awareness by serving this
segment of the market
- The ability to partner with organizations for
grassroots marketing opportunities
- The ability to offer personal travel and experiences
- The ability to expand to include leisure travel
- Customer loyalty
- Influencer/friends code
- COVID-19 will continue to be, if not a threat, a
major wildcard that could continually disrupt the travel space
- Legacy players decide to change their pricing model
as a way to limit Ardor growth
What are the travel pain points you are trying to
alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
The travel pain points we alleviate include
delivering lower travel costs overall by offering the best rates, multilingual booking, the widest selection of inventory from hotel, airline and car suppliers, on-the-go
booking from any device including mobile apps, advanced workflows, expense management,
detailed reporting and AI-powered automation tools.
The industry perspective: Travel is expensive, and it’s a pain for those that
must be on the road. It can also be a huge time hassle for those that
continually need to make bookings, track and manage expenses and provide
reimbursement checks. Our target audience runs lean. They need to watch every
dollar going out the door and look for tools to help make them more productive.
It takes time and time is money. Ardor removes this pain. Our platform is
perfectly designed for an individual that needs to be on the road and is
looking for the best way to make a booking.
Additionally, our system allows organizations up-to-the-minute reporting so they will be able to track in real time the investment
they are making by having team members on the road.
Finally, Ardor Travels has been designed so once
onboarding and training is complete all the updates and changes can be done
internally by anyone in the organization. There’s no need for technical support
although the Ardor Customer Success team is available to help at any time.
The customer perspective: It’s convenient – bookings can be done on a laptop,
anywhere you have access to the internet or mobile phone via the Ardor app.
It’s customizable – the Ardor system allows each
user to create the travel preferences around his or her likes and that fit
within the company’s guidelines. For example: Traveler A wants to only fly
Delta and stay in Hilton properties. Traveler B wants only Southwest and wants
to stay at Marriott properties. If these preferences fit within the guidelines
established by the business, these preferences can easily be established. This
cuts down on the booking and reservation time. And makes the travel experience
more enjoyable for the traveler.
It’s efficient – if a travel preference is selected
by a team member that falls outside of the company's guidelines this will
trigger a need for approval from the manager automatically. At that point the
manager can see the reason why the traveler is attempting to book outside the
guidelines and can see/review options available and decide to either accept the
booking request or suggest the traveler make another available choice. This
eliminates surprises and a lot of back and forth. Additionally, it engages the
employee to make the best possible decision.
Finally when it comes to expense reimbursement it
dramatically speeds up the process. In so many cases expense reporting happens
once the team member is off the road. If that team member is on the road for
one or two weeks out of the month, the receipts add up. Then there’s finding the
time to get the form in and if there are any questions on the forms, it can take a while before the check has
been processed. With Ardor, as soon as a receipt is received, the team member
can snap a picture, or download the receipt, tag the expense and upload for
manager approval. As soon as the team member is off the road and all receipts
are in, the check can be cut.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots
The Ardor Travels app is easy to download, extremely
user-friendly and fully customizable, perfect for our target audience We will
increase our customer reach by sharing engaging, thought-provoking content that
highlights the cornerstones of Ardor Travels as a company, our technology and
capabilities and advances the positive reputation and awareness of Ardor
Travels as a key leader and innovator and disruptor in the space.
Ardor has been specifically designed for small- to
mid-size businesses, that’s the audience we serve. And we believe by offering a
product that over-delivers we can build word of mouth with that community.
As we grow our member community, the Ardor member will
benefit by add-on ancillary connections to access all kinds of wonderful
inventory on a global basis while earning loyalty rewards by accessing,
utilizing, booking and referring the platform to others.
To help fuel our word-of-mouth
growth we are using an account-based marketing approach focusing initially on
those businesses that must be on the road or are choosing to have team members
be on the road. With this group it’s critical we establish trust. Trust that
Ardor can deliver on our promises. We will do this by providing relevant and
helpful content through our own channels and through social platforms primarily
We believe PR will be a key element to building
trust by securing placements in key publications and then utilizing the
placements to help drive traffic and trial.
Tell us what process you've gone through to
establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable
The global business travel market was valued at $695.9
billion in 2020, and is expected to reach $2,001.1 billion by 2028, growing at
a CAGR of 13.2% from 2021 to 2028. Business travel is a division of regular
tourism in which people travel for a business-oriented purpose. Ardor members
will also be tapping into the tremendous leisure travel industry market with
the many links we’ll be providing.
How and when will you make money?
We will monetize and build value in the business
through brand awareness, subscriber adoption and growth, bookings growth and
revenue and adding ancillary products that bring added value to our member base
that can also be monetized. Example: Insure my trip.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements
of the founding team?
Our team has scaled companies and delivered
complex projects. We have vast travel, hospitality and technology backgrounds,
with strong e-commerce, supply chain and operations experience. Our internal
technical developers, architects and business analysts with AI and machine
learning backgrounds are very experienced in airline, hotel and travel with an
in-depth knowledge of how the industry works.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion
within your business?
We’re a U.S.-based global company. We have a Spanish
version of our platform and Spanish speaking employees and customers. Our team is
composed of senior members that are women and customer success representatives
from South America that are bilingual. Our technical team has many members from India and we have offices in
Dubai, Mumbai and New Delhi.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the
business so far?
The amount of hours, long days and intensity of
developing a robust technical platform from scratch. Of course the COVID
environment, but we tried to make it a positive by adding more features and
functionality that were planned for later development. And finding good
sales/business developers. We’re investing big time in influencer marketing
links to our platform along with developing a loyalty program that will drive
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time
making an impact - so why are you going to be one of the lucky ones?
At Ardor, we don’t believe in luck - the term Ardor
stands for: ar·dor, /ˈärdər/, noun meaning enthusiasm or passion. “They felt
the stirrings of revolutionary ardor.” Similar: passion, avidity, fervor, zeal,
We have and will continue to pour energies and work
hard to make the best platform on the market and the world a better place in
Ardor Travels is the business travel solution the
post-pandemic world needs. Bringing together new age insurances, duty of care,
radical cost savings all while making travel enjoyable again. We are committed
to never-ending innovative technology, products and expenses, as well as an
all-in-one smart platform for travel expense management and reporting that is
customizable for the consumer.
We do not believe this market is being properly
serviced. Legacy players are focused on large corporations and ongoing
contracts. They are not built to help smaller businesses that need to travel.
We have specifically designed our platform for a
post-pandemic world – to reduce costs, improve the entire process from booking
to expense reimbursement. The time to get up and running on our platform is
minimal and updates and modifications to travel preferences can all be done
in-house without requiring technical resource intervention.
A year from
now, what state do you think your start-up will be in?
Phase one roll-out stage North America, LATAM and
South America and just entering next phase with Asia Pacific and Europe
What is your endgame? (Going public, acquisition,
growing and staying private, etc.)
Our ultimate endgame is global growth within a wide
range of industries and to be the premier B2B corporate travel brand while
nurturing the B2C experience. This will provide options for our owners and
investors: acquisition, new products, regional spinoffs or an outright exit.
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