TripStax is targeting small- to medium-size travel management companies with its technology platform, which offers booking, traveler profile and back-office services.
The corporate travel startup, which launched last year, is a spin-out of travel management company ATPI, which continues to use the TripStax technology.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
TripStax’s aim is to redefine the technology landscape and economics for SME-size travel management companies globally by giving them access to premium, proven and affordable technology solutions. We aren’t looking to reinvent how travel is managed, but how the ecosystem that underpins it can be reimagined.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
TripStax is a fully connected modular stack of industry-leading proprietary business travel applications driven by the Core, a central data powerhouse that consumes, enriches and manages all business traveller booking, profile and invoice data across the entire TripStax ecosystem.
The Core is a key market-differentiator. As the sole source of a TMC’s corporate client data, the Core is the "nerve system" that drives and determines how this data is used across each module in the stack. Not only does the Core seamlessly interact with the TripStax modules (Approve, Profile, Track, Analytics, Content, Docs, Mobile) but a plethora of third-party technologies used by TMCs. TripStax is built on a ground-breaking, cost-reducing, commercial model for our TMC customers. The majority of legacy travel technology providers charge TMCs transaction fees based on the consumption and storage of data. TMCs have to pay a fee every time the data is stored and transposed by each vendor. TMCs using TripStax are only charged once for ingestion of booking, profile or finance data, regardless of how many times that data is processed within one of the modules in the stack.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
The only true tech stack in the business travel industry with the breadth of proprietary modules seamlessly integrated with a central data processing powerhouse (the Core)
Robust, proven technology, that’s scalable, flexible and reduces integration complexity for TMCs
Re-defining the commercial model making the adoption of tech more effective for TMCs
Intricate travel and technology experience with TripStax team
Open architecture allowing for third party integrations
Reliance of TMCs (and the industry in general) on legacy technology and content providers, which could be a barrier to the pace of our innovation in some scenarios
Significant cost reduction for TMCs through the adoption of our technology
Continued investment in innovation
Providing a springboard for new revenue streams for TMCs
Reduction in vendor relationships and supplier management
Allowing TMCs to focus on their brand, offering and service
TMCs ability to adopt change in order to realize the power of a new model
Ensuring TripStax continues to spearhead innovation at a module-by-module level, despite the challenges and distractions of managing a rapidly growing business
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
The core purpose of business travel hasn’t changed – it’s still about providing travel booking mechanisms and ancillary products for companies and their employees who need to make trips for work reasons. Technology providers have evolved but in so doing, the industry has become very complex.
The tech used to manage business travel purely pivots around the exchange of data. In a world with multiple tech providers all looking to provide solutions to TMCs based on these same data sets, there is high cost, complex integration requirements and a reliance on very few people who actually understand the ‘spaghetti’ of integrations.
From an industry perspective, TripStax aims to untangle the spaghetti and uncouple technology from its reliance on transactional economics.
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From a customer perspective we are enabling TMCs to mitigate the cost of developing and implementing their own technology solutions, thus enabling them to digitalize their tech offering cost effectively and strategically.
Post pandemic, SME-size TMCs need to increase their competitiveness in the market, remain relevant and enhance customer service delivery. TripStax enables them to do that by giving access to premium, versatile travel technology that previously was not available to them, and was also unaffordable for a TMC of their size.
Tell us what process you’ve gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
Although TripStax is a startup business, the technology underpinning the Core and ecosystem of modules has an established pedigree of evolution and efficacy. It has been continuously developed and improved over the last 25 years by global TMC ATPI, as the tech was its own proprietary travel management platform.
The idea to create TripStax as separate business with its own management and strategic direction, and release the technology to a wider TMC audience was the brainchild of Jack Ramsey, CEO, TripStax and the ATPI executive team.
This decision was driven by the realization that B2B travel tech is far too fragmented and is therefore significantly burdening travel management providers on multiple levels. We saw a gap in the market to give TMCs access to premium and proven technology that traditionally hasn’t been available to them or affordable.
With the full separation of the technology from within ATPI, TripStax is now building upon the extracted components at pace, further enhancing the Core and the modules, along with creating tech partnerships which scale up the breadth of the offering and the integration points within the industry.
How and when will you make money?
We are already generating revenue as TripStax is a live tech product consuming over three million bookings per annum from various TMC clients who are already on board, including ATPI as our flagship customer. We’ve just signed an agreement with a major TMC in North America and we’re finalizing deals in Spain and Germany. Our pipeline has gone into overdrive since we officially launched in March this year. We’re ploughing a lot of the money we’re making back into scaling up our management and tech team to meet the demand.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?
Jack Ramsey - CEO, has an impressive track record in the B2B travel technology sector. His career includes eight years at Travelport, starting in sales support and working his way up through diverse commercial roles to run a global commercial team. He joined ATPI as a technology and investment consultant in 2020 where the opportunity evolved to spearhead the creation of TripStax.
Mathias Andersson - CCO, began his career in strategy consulting for the financial, energy and travel industries. In 2004 Mathias moved to the travel tech and GDS sector. He joined Travelport where he led the business in the Nordic markets for five years, followed by further five years as a commercial COO at Travelport-owned Hotelzon.
Scott Wylie - CTO, has vast experience of IT and technology in the business travel sector gained over his extensive 30-year career in roles ranging from systems manager to CTO at companies such as Seaforths Travel, PhoneLink PLC and ATPI. His knowledge of all aspects of travel technology is second to none.
Nikki Banks - CMO, remarkable 16-year career that has spanned a range of industries from publishing, media and luxury, to financial services and proptech. She spent seven years at The Telegraph in promotional, marketing and editorial roles where her achievements included launching Telegraph Money and writing a sports blog while circumnavigating the globe aboard the racing yacht - team Great Britain.
What’s been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
When our CEO started the mission of founding TripStax we were deep in the lockdown phases of the pandemic. This meant that essentially the entire business was crafted over the phone or video calls. The main challenge in doing this was the transitioning of various employees from within ATPI over to TripStax, virtually.
Guiding people on the journey of change without being able to physically meet them, no matter how excited they are by the business or the opportunities it presents, is never smooth sailing. It requires a huge amount of emotional awareness and a laser focus on investing in the people.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact - so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
Whilst in principle we are a bold start up brand/business, we are in the unique position of launching to market with tech that’s established and has a proven track record of innovation and success. TripStax also has a global customer base from day one. This sets us apart from other startups and puts us in a very strong position as a credible and proven technology provider when we are talking to potential TMC customers.
Whilst there are vendors in the market providing stand-alone modules, there is no established direct competitor to the overall TripStax proposition of a complete stack of wholly-owned tech products consistently integrated via a central data processor. Since our launch events the response to our proposition has been overwhelming so we’re already seeing impact, unlike other startups who spend years trying to find the breakthrough.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?
We’ll no longer be considered a startup but an established successful tech provider in business travel with a major customer base. We will be known across the industry as instigators of disruption looking to lead the evolution of the collective market.
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)
We will continue to drive innovation and future development of the TripStax proposition through organic growth as well as via acquisition.
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