is a travel management platform and marketplace that connects travelers with advisors
that provide service throughout a trip.
Founded in 2020, the company provides guidance with selection
and booking of air travel, hotels, ground transportation, travel insurance,
restaurant reservations and experiences.
is your 30-second pitch to investors?
Voyagu is a
Uber-like travel management platform and marketplace connecting clients with
travel advisors and suppliers to pay less, get more organized travel and have
quick access to human support. Our machine learning-based search engine
provides clients with personalized offerings 35% cheaper than online prices.
The platform also backs the automation of post-booking and workflow
effectiveness to free up time for the travel advisor to provide better client
support and empathetic problem solving.
both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
business is a marketplace for travelers, travel advisors and travel suppliers.
The travelers receive savings, easier travel management and customer support,
and the travel advisors and travel suppliers get increased earnings and
are building a travel management platform with an ML-based search engine to
find the best deals and save money for the clients. The search technology and
automated trip management are our key focus for platform development, allowing
the agent to work with more clients and get higher earnings and travel suppliers to sell
unoccupied travel inventory, redistributing travel demand and supply.
us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the
- Effective in-house client acquisition
- Repeat bookings due to personalized offerings,
quality of client experience and client care
- Profitable bootstrapping
- Fast decision-making based on data and
- Direct access to client and industry insights
- Strong focus on financial and business metrics
- More competitive price offers with ML-based search engine and
wide travel offerings
- Bootstrapping can limit funding growth
- Self-developed tech products are in the early
- “Young brand” with low brand awareness
- Historical focus is on air travel
- Ready to grow with the booming market
- Accelerating performance of key business
metrics by building brand awareness
- Extending product portfolio to hotels,
cruises, tours and other travel products
- Attracting external funding
- Aggressive response of competition
- Macro risk influencing travel industry can
impact bootstrapping dependency on revenue
are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer
and the industry perspective?
the customer standpoint: The
client is compromising either on price, quality of service or both. The pricing
of travel offerings is not transparent, which makes trip planning difficult and
confusing. Additionally, the client has limited access to and slow responses
from the travel provider for post-booking support, changes, cancellations and
especially problem solving for time-sensitive issues like lost luggage or
missed connections. Instead of excitement, travel brings dissatisfaction
and uncertainty with too many variables and no single point of contact to
resolve potential problems.
the industry: The
process of joining the industry is complex and requires familiarity with dated
systems and tools like the global distribution systems. Though it takes time,
it’s still possible to learn these tools and become a travel agent. However,
the agent’s inability to gain travel expertise and effectively handle all of
the necessary steps for booking and problem solving makes clients hesitant to
delegate the booking and management of trip itineraries.
is also inefficiency in distribution and use of the travel inventory. The
airlines are aiming at higher margins, which translates to higher flight prices
and low seat occupancy. This unoccupied inventory is thrown at the travel
agents with time-sensitive promotions and special deals, but it is often missed
by the slow reaction times and hours of manual search required of the
margin-increasing strategy is cost-cutting in customer support departments,
which results in limited access to a reliable point of contact for timely
resolution of travel issues and emergencies.
you've got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?
our in-house digital marketing team has extensive experience with client
acquisition and effective utilization of digital tools. Additionally, we’re
committed to keeping the focus on providing top-tier customer care throughout
every step of the client’s journey. This has kept our customer satisfaction
scores high, and it encourages repeat bookings and word-of-mouth referrals to
friends and family.
us what process you've gone through to establish a genuine need for your
company and the size of the addressable market.
market size of the travel agency sector in the United States fell to $20.69 billion in 2020, down from the previous
year's total of $56.96 billion. In 2022, it
bounced back up to $47.9 billion due to countries lifting travel restrictions and travel companies
resuming their operations, addressing the high traveling demand.
used the previous experience of the initially founded travel agency to define
customer needs, gaps in travel agent performance and ways to improve the
interactions with our travel inventory suppliers. A lack of technology was
evident. Historically, the travel industry functions on quite old systems, so
we saw an opportunity to develop an ML-based platform to bring significant
our NPD (new product development) process, we have ongoing direct conversations
with our clients and travel agents to collect insights and complete
proof-of-concept testing for customer development. It also helps that we are
data nerds, fully equipped with collected data and analysis to validate actual
ambition is to be above 500,000 clients with a minimum of two bookings per
year. We are confident we can reach this target before the five-year mark.
and when will you make money?
are a bootstrapping company, so we’re already profitable by earning a
commission from the travel suppliers. The growth of our revenue is reinvested
in the continuous development of technology. In the future, raising more funds
will accelerate our success.
are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?
Our core founding team has a combined industry experience of about 15 years
across different travel segments. We have established direct contacts and
personal relationships with all key travel suppliers. This allows us to have
contracts with access to the widest global travel inventory and power to
negotiate exclusive offers. As a travel tech company, we are constantly looking for the unique skill sets
of tech specialists around the world. For example, our head of engineering is
an ML genius who created his own cutting-edge startup with ML technology.
Additionally, our product development team is made up of the best product
professionals in Eastern Europe. Their knowledge and ability to deliver fast product
releases gives us advantage in speed to market and first mover advantage with
some self-developed technology.
have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your business?
have been an international company from day one. Historically, we have our
roots in Kyiv, Ukraine, and we’ve naturally embraced diversity and inclusion by
giving career opportunities to talent from Ukraine and across Eastern Europe.
Now, we have a travel tech team around the world from 17 countries who speak a
minimum of 10 languages.
been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
COVID-19 pandemic for sure. We were very brave with the decision to start
development in the summer of 2020. As a bootstrapping company during a period
of restricted travel, there were limitations. However, we were able to optimize
and manage our resources successfully to be ready for the travel comeback and
launch of the new platform in 2022.
travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact - so why are you
going to be one of the lucky ones?
type of impact we’re making is directly leading to radical change in how the
travel industry operates. We’ve created something that solves many of the most
obvious and frustrating problems travelers face, and it makes the travel
experience better for everyone involved. We’re changing the travel industry
from stressful, overpriced, non-transparent, ineffective and impersonal to a
simple, exciting, smooth and friendly client service that’s also more
profitable for agents and travel suppliers. For us, it’s less about luck and
more a result of our fact-based, data-driven approaches. We see industry behind
the scenes and are able to apply technology, human expertise and empathy to
make the change.
year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?
Our expected indicators by
the end of 2023:
- Double-digit millions-USD gross revenue
- Triple-digit number of travel agents operating the platform
is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing and staying private,
public. We believe in our mission and will become a strong player in the travel
industry. Our company has defined a long-term growth strategy, and we are
moving forward with it.
The Phocuswright Conference 2022
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