Sophie Pastol, Founder and CEO
France-based Rootze helps travelers find and compare transport options that fit their budget.
The comparison platform plans to add accommodation to the mix as well develop to offer a more complete travel booking service.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
Rootze aims to become the European one‐stop travel shop covering all available travel options: flights, trains, bus, carpooling.
No need to search on how to get to your final destination with your budget on several websites anymore. Our comparator will tell you according to your budget which kind of transportation is available for you.
We have created an algorithm that combine for you the different mean of transportation that you can book with your budget. Go by plane and come back by train for half the price - you will have the options in three clicks with Rootze.
Rootze, provides a one‐stop travel shop that solves all this issues ‐ from inspiration, to transportation combination to pricing and, soon hotel accommodation.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
- Strengths – Our innovative technology in the humungous tourism market struggling to disrupt itself. Moreover we are working on traveler’s main true frustration by creating a more efficient experience to book their trip
- Weaknesses – We are fully aware of the big names in the industry which are well known by customers. They are monopolizing the market even though they have ageing technology and offerings.
- Opportunities – We plan to integrate hotel accommodation and intend for Rootze to become a 360° website that will allow you to find every vertical you need to book your trip in one place.
- Threats – While we believe Rootze is a website with the right technology to scale-up and provide instant answers to travelers, the main worries still exist : are we fast enough to attract customers to overtake our competitors who one day will notice that the intermodality is the way to go ?
What inspired you to create this company?
The project is born after a personal experience that a lot of us lived at least once in their lifetime.
We were a bunch of girlfriends that wanted to leave Paris to celebrate New Years Eve. We had a budget and no destination in mind. So we did a list of the destinations that interested us and then we compared all the transportation to find a combination within our budget.
At the end the research itself took us a lot of time, and we did not go on vacation because all the destinations we were thinking about were too expensive for our budget.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
Millennials and Generation X are traveling, spending and experiencing more than ever before. Yet the travel industry struggles to innovate and evolve fast enough to answer the needs of a generation used to quick fixes due to the rapid development of technology.
Consumers are getting used to find all their information quickly and in one place.
However while booking a trip they are left to shift through mountains of web searches, hotel booking, airline websites, comparators, and so on.
At the end the research to plan the trip itself becomes time consuming for the consumer.
Users also lack quick access to all transportation information and Rootze's ambition is to resolve the following issues:
- What is the best transportation option for my destination according to my budget ?
- What destination can I afford with my budget ?
Rootze promises to provide a one‐stop travel shop that solves all these issues in one search only.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.New Link
We started to segment key players, technologies and benchmarked the market competition to see if any website was already offering what we wanted to develop.
Many of the other companies are solving only a problem at a time and the industry is one of the most fragmented one. Once these first steps were done, we focused on studying the leisure market which is worth approximately $2.5 trillion.
We noticed that Rootze was the only solution that brought all together all the different offers we may find online to create a one-stop travel shop from inspiration to planning, pricing and routing.
Millennials and Gen X are changing the way we consume on internet. They are now expecting instant gratification and quick fixes for a faster, and more qualitative online experience.
It is why, while building our website, we focused ourself only on the UX/UI part of our product, our goal is to simplify the user journey. Indeed Millennials are traveling more than the previous generation, yet not in the same traditional way that older generations do.
How and when will you make money?
Rootze is 100% free for the user. Moreover we have no publicity whatsoever on our website, as we did not want to pollute the online user experience. We guarantee no hidden cost on our website.
Our income comes from a commissions that we negotiated with our partners.
Revenue sharing will be integrated once we have developed the payment platform on our website. In the meantime travelers are redirected to partners' sites.
Additional revenue sources will come from the revenue generated by the future offer we are going to implement: accommodation.
The revenue principle will remain the same as that for transportation.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
The first step for me was to find the right partner. Thibault Langlois is as trustworthy as he is talented, we are very lucky to have him as the CTO of our company.
The second most difficult part we encountered was to establish the first partnership with well known key travel players. Indeed we had our proof of concept prepared yet no partnership to show how our technology worked.
They only had our pitch to lean on to visualize what kind of experience we wanted to offer, and trust us that it would work!
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact ‐ so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
Travel startups are flourishing like never before. We are getting more numerous every year on the travel and leisure market.
The industry is already ruled by big names which leaves only a small place for startups to launch themselves and succeed in front of well established powerful companies.
Yet we believe that Rootze offers a one‐of‐a‐kind travel booking experience.
Our website allows the user to know in only three clicks how to get from A to B according to his budget. The user will not have to struggle to find the right transportation information through hours of research.
Our innovation is one of a kind as we have solved the main concern of the customer by putting the budget in the heart of research.
We hope that our offer will satisfy the needs and wants of users in their journey to book their trip, as we aim to help them research options faster and easier.
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