Travevel is an interactive social platform, free from traditional ads, focused on user-generated image and video travel, tourism and adventure content.
The startup, set to launch later this month, will use 10% of all profits to provide living essentials and affordable housing for disadvantaged communities in high tourism areas.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
Travevel is an interactive social platform, free from traditional ads, focused on user-generated image and video travel, tourism and adventure content. Its defining feature is a first of its kind interactive map. Ten percent of all profits will be used to provide living essentials and affordable housing for disadvantaged communities in high tourism areas.
Each user has a personal, interactive world map on their profile that displays a virtual pin on locations they have tagged in uploads. They simply click on the pin and all of their uploaded content linked to that destination is at their fingertips. No more scrolling through thousands of photos for your pictures from your 2015 trip to London - they’re there with one click. With all the advertisements and political noise on most social networks, it’s become hard to simply interact with fellow travelers and swap tips, tricks and images. Travevel is about to change all that.
Travevel’s public map displays all content marked for public viewing. Users can zoom in on any area of the world to see content markers for that location and then click on those that interest them.
Companies that subscribe can have a business profile listing and to share ad-free images and videos alongside user-generated content and on their own business profile page feed, making it an ideal way for travel companies impacted financially by COVID-19 to reach a very targeted niche of prospective customers without spending exorbitant amounts of money competing in the highly competitive CPC and CPM advertising market.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
Travevel not only provides a free social network for travel and adventure lovers, but also a way to easily store and organize photos and video clips on a personal map using geotagging. Business users will now have a platform to reach potential customers organically with no CPC or CPM.
The web version launches November 20; iOS and Android will launch December 10.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
- Web, iOS and Android will all be launched by mid-December
- Ad-free platform
- Free for personal users
- 10% of profits used to provide living essentials and affordable housing in high tourism areas with high poverty
- Low cost of entry for business users
- Personal profile map feature unique to Travevel
- Many familiar features
- No debt
- Not affected by travel restrictions due to not selling travel products
- New platform
- Limited financial resources as we are bootstrapping the business
- Highly competitive niche
- As other platforms continue to put monetization over user experience, we are in a position to attract users who are seeking alternatives
- Three additional phases with new features already planned.
- Being debt-free and 100% founder owned, a vast majority of revenue or additional capital can be used for accelerated user growth with minimal dilution
- Similar networks with greater financial resources
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
Our goal is to eliminate, to the highest degree possible, the number-one issue faced by personal and business users.
From a user standpoint, all current travel-related resources have been monetized to the point where the user has no control over the content they see and are bombarded with promotional emails and even more ads after performing any search. Travevel will not share or sell user data.
For businesses, reaching potential customers carries a hefty price tag. In such a competitive market, traditional advertising rates are increasing dramatically, and when we add those costs to constant algorithm changes which affect ad performance, it is an uphill climb. With Travevel, your content is seen among organic search results at a monthly cost equal to just a few clicks in traditional marketing.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?
Our approach to getting users will be focused on direct contact rather than throwing money at advertising in the hopes something sticks. We will have native individuals on the ground in tourist areas around the world interacting directly with tourists and businesses. This will not only be more cost effective than traditional advertising due to wages in many countries and provide income to people in that area, but it also creates direct and personal contact that isn’t possible in traditional advertising.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We approached the project much differently than we typically see. We didn’t spend large amounts of money on hiring research firms, doing feasibility assessments and financial projections. As chronic users of social media ourselves, we observed the most common complaints and issues addressed by personal and business users as a whole and developed a concept that we felt would greatly diminish the negative aspects that were so common in established social platforms. Many users are tired of feeds full of ads, fake reviews, politics, doctored photos and general negativity. Our goal is to eliminate these points and create a positive and enjoyable experience.
How and when will you make money?
Our monetization model has three points:
- Business users pay a monthly fee to have a user account whose content will be organically shown among personal UGC with no CPC or CPM in addition to subscription
- Weekly live-stream on the homepage to spotlight destinations/properties. All platform users will be notified of live streams.
- Weekly Travevel user-exclusive deals. All platform users will be notified of special discounts or offers from partner businesses.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your business?
One of the focal points of Travevel as a company is to provide support and housing to disadvantaged people around the world. It is this idea that led to the decision to employ locals around the world for marketing and promotion.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
We decided to bootstrap development and launch, which has its own set challenges and risks, but in addition to being financially conservative, the biggest struggles we have had are putting together a features list that will create an easy-to-navigate platform and deciding which features to include in the launch phase.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact - so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
We are creating an environment that has not only eliminated most of the issues that negatively impact the user experience, but is also using a portion of our profits to provide for those in need. While others in the travel niche are switching to subscription models for personal users, we will remain a free platform.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?
One year from launch, our goal is to acquire 500,000 personal users and 10,000 business users.
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)
At this early stage, we have neutral views between acquisition and remaining private.
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