Travizory is a platform that uses biometric and mobile technologies to remove much of the friction of travel by enabling travelers to supply their identity details, and governments to vet them, ahead of departure.
Travizory has just received almost $2M in investment from Atlantic Labs which it will use to further its work in helping governments reopen borders.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
We created Travizory to leverage the latest mobile and biometrics technologies to be able to travel and cross borders with your hands and your passport in your pockets, with no barriers, and to feel welcome by the countries you are visiting.
Our platform preserves privacy by removing the need for airlines and hotels to collect passport information from travelers, store it and forward it to governments.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup
The business has been set up to specifically address the pain points at border control, with our solutions streamlining the process for both the traveler and government.
Presently, when a person wishes to travel they need to supply their identity at several points during their journey. This starts with a visa or travel authorization application, if applicable, through to booking their ticket, renting a car, staying in a hotel, registering for a SIM etc.
This is a messy, convoluted process where multiple players gain access directly to the identity of the individual traveler.
In today’s world, this opens up security questions over identity theft and misuse, amongst other things. Governments traditionally deal with a person’s identity at the point of entry into their country, a process that involves scanning a passport and having to make a decision within seven seconds on whether or not to admit the person.
We have developed the technology to directly address these pain points and make like easier for all stakeholders. From a traveler’s perspective, it allows them to submit their identity once, via the web or their mobile, from the comfort of their home.
This creates a digital identity they can then take with them on their trip and use when engaging with car rentals, hotels, concerts, sports events and so on.
The possibilities are endless. It also means they can allow a government access to their passport information ahead of travel for pre-clearance. They have the peace of mind in knowing they will not have any problems clearing immigration upon arrival.
From a government’s perspective, they now have each traveler’s identity information ahead of travel. Immigration and border control officers can spend the time they need to effectively risk access each traveler to ensure they do not pose a security or health threat to the country.
With the end goal of having our technology deployed at all border crossing points (air, land and sea) travelers will be able to be confirmed through facial recognition, allowing the government to redeploy their officers to help with those they deem a threat, or other security based tasks.
Of course, when talking about facial recognition it also means our solutions are touchless. This is very important when considering border control deployments in our new COVID world.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
- Developed the Next Gen border security platform (fTA)
- Company is small and agile, able to adjust easily to customer and market demands
- Expertise and experience of the team
- Products addresses the needs of the Government
- Enhance the traveler experience throughout the journey
- Aligned to the economic reality of the Governments
- Clear company direction and goals
- Solutions conform to industry regulations
- Systems evolve along with customer demands
- Fast go-to-market
- We are in partnership with the customer
- Fast to deploy
- Low cost/self-sustaining solutions relative to competition
- Development of domestic API-PNR
- New to market – low visibility
- Low participation in international events
- Interactive travel market growth
- Authentication of health certificates
- Ability to leverage know-how of team with strong experience
- Partnership with medical entities
- Development of Border Management
- Bring to market the seamless corridor
- Successfully position the next generation border security platform (fTA)
- Competition from established players in the marketplace
- Need to ensure Travizory is not seen as a software development company
- Logistics and deployment channels during COVID pandemic
- Governments reluctance to adopt biometric travel tokens and information
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
Again, we can look at this from two perspectives. Let’s start with travelers.
Have you seen the adverts for travel from the 1950s and 1960s? It was glamourous. The journey was part of the experience that everyone looked forward to.
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Fast forward to today and the travel has lost all its sparkle. Part of this is down to the complexity we have to go through when preparing to travel.
More countries are beginning to ask for more information up front, Australia and America, for example, have long had their travel authorizations and the EU is looking to bring theirs in to cover the Schengen Zone.
Through our solutions, travelers are able to supply their information and have it delivered to the government in question. This then forms their “token” when they travel. The next stage is to link it to their face. Then all they need to do is show their face to check in for their flight, hotel or collect their car rental.
The technology to make that happen is what Travizory has developed.
Then we look at governments. Traditionally they only have a short period of time to fully vet each traveler. This is usually from the point they step up to the immigration booth, hand over their passport and the seven seconds each border agent has to make a decision.
How can you run an effective risk based border management system with such short lead times? The answer is to conduct the vetting of each traveler, based on the parameters the destination country wants to set, before travel has even begun.
Through our system, governments can have the traveler data well in advance of travel, giving them the time they need to perform proper security threats against criminal databases, or confirm they have the correct health certificates to enter the country.
One additional avenue we need to look at is the impact our technology has on airports. Airports need to provide real estate for immigration and border control. What we can do is help airports to strip out the bulky gates and kiosks they have now and replace with a seamless corridor where your face is your passport.
Governments can confirm the identity of each traveler while airports get back a lot of valuable space that could be repurposed into more commercial pursuits. Importantly, it also means touchless travel, which is an essential part of any journey in our COVID-19 world.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?
It’s all about going back to the basics of sales for us. We are a customer driven company and want to ensure we have them at the heart of everything we do.
To achieve this we have gathered industry veterans under one roof to help establish trusted partnerships across the work we undertake. This allows us to ensure what we do is right for the customer and it is through this that we want to focus to build the brand of Travizory.
We will be announcing a government customer very soon.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We didn’t need to establish a genuine need for our company: it was already there.
Many countries still have visa free policies in place that leave large information holes in their border processes.
As more atrocities happen across the world, more countries are realising they need to firm up their border control to have complete information on all travelers. This is where travel authorisation comes in to play, allowing for countries to have a complete view on all travelers wanting to enter the country.
If you add on to this the impact COVID-19 has had over the past six months, we can factor in the need for health information to be submitted pre-travel to ensure there are no health risks associated with anyone traveling to your country.
In short governments need to have a complete view on everyone wishing to cross their border to make informed decisions on who can and who can’t come in. This is backed up by recommendations from ICAO, IATA and the WTTC, which our systems address completely and fully.
How and when will you make money?
The good news is we have already started generating revenue. We have worked out an attractive pricing model which we hope governments will favour.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?
The founding team bring a wealth of experience from the industry. We are fortunate to have under one roof experts in identity, facial biometrics, mobile and web development, API PNR, identity, and border management.
More specifically, our team has been involved in identity management that morphed into IATA’s OneID, and developing the first biometric boarding procedure that came to market, through the US CBP and JetBlue.
They also deployed the first flight arrival predictor for Singapore’s Changi airport, based on AI and machine learning.
We have dedicated experts in our team that have worked on large multi-million dollar projects as well as the small niche ones. They have worked in all four corners of the world and have come from the renowned companies within the industry. With all of this expertise under one roof, we are confident we have what it needs to succeed.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
It is hard not to mention COVID-19 here. We had our plan and strategy all lined up and were ready to push forward with it, but then countries started going into lockdown and airlines stopped flying so we couldn’t visit our potential customers.
As a startup, the good news is we are agile and could pivot to reposition our solutions to ensure they stayed relevant to the needs of the governments in the new COVID world. We adapted and ensured we kept the customer at the centre of everything we do to ensure we were able to bring value to governments.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact - so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
I believe it is because we are a startup. As a startup, we are agile and can move faster than the established players. We have the ability and expertise to disrupt the market and have an impact, especially today with COVID-19.
We are seeing countries needing to obtain health information about travelers to effectively reopen their borders and it is the companies that can adapt to this that will flourish the most.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?
We know already we will be in a solid state because of all the positive engagements we have ongoing. However, to say where we will be in a year from now is hard and not something I would like to commit to.
A year ago, none of us knew what COVID-19 was, nor what impact the disease would have upon the global stage. I can’t predict what will happen in 12 months, whether there will be a second wave, whether there will be an outbreak of another disease or whether there will be some other global incident that impacts us all.
But what I can say is we will be here working to ensure our customers have the tools they need to keep their borders open and safe.
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)
For us it’s not about being acquired as we want to stay private. The focus at the moment is on our long-term vision and making that a reality by delivering the best digital experiences to governments.
Through our hard work, and maintaining the focus on the customer, we want to become a major player in the market and help to make the world that little bit better for everyone.
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