TLabs Showcase focus on startups featuring Netherlands-based travel ticket exchange service Re-Ticket.com.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
I am Gregor van der Made, 27 years old from Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the owner/founder of Re-ticket.com.
I graduated in economics and as a student Iâ€™ve been working in my spare time for several airlines at Amsterdam Airport.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
My own savings money and an informal investor.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Offering a platform for travellers to sell their already bought travel tickets. And for bargain hunters offering the possibility to buy those second hand tickets.
People do not t know that they can change the name on a ticket, that why you can check on our website if your airline allows name-changes. For train/bus/ferry tickets there is no need to check, because those tickets are most of the time not personalised.
And even if itâ€™s not possible to sell your ticket, we can help with getting a refund for the airport taxes.
Describe the business, core products and services?
Re-ticket.com is an online marketplace for travel tickets where people can sell and buy their second hand tickets. Tour operators and travel agents for example, can also sell their overstock on our website.
With the refund service, we are able to get a refund in 70% of all requests with an average amount of Euro 70 per ticket.
And our request service helps travellers who are looking for a trip, but canâ€™t find any. So they can leave a request so other people/travel agents can reply with a specific offer.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Travellers in general, but on the re-ticket side itâ€™s mainly the backpacker who is offering and buying tickets.
For our refund service we see a lot of business man using our service, because they have tickets left due to an agenda change or something like that. And, to our own surprise, we are working for several travel insurance companies to get refunds for them (or their clients) if they have a claim for cancelled flight tickets.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
No, although we did a lot of market research which showed that there is a demand for this.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
Advertising with banners/advertorials/e-mail marketing. Our marketplace is free to use for individuals, but for business accounts we charge a Euro 1 fee per ticket to be published at our website.
This is because business accounts are able to upload several tickets in one time so they donâ€™t need to insert all data over and over again if they have 10 seats left on the same LTN-AGP flight for example.
We charge a Euro 15 fee per claim for the tax refund for individuals and for B2B partners we ask a â€˜no cure, no payâ€™ fee in the form of a percentage depending on the volume of the claims.
SWOT analysis â€“ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- A specific international multi-language marketplace for travel tickets to help travellers to get rid of their ticket and to get (at least) some money back. We offer a refund service which no other marketplace is offering.
- Itâ€™s not easy to convince travel agents and tour operators to publish their overstock on our website. So far, they prefer a “not sold seat” over a “50% sold seat”. And overstock from travel agents generates more offers on our website instead of ticket offers from individuals.
- Same as weakness; when travel agents and tour operators start to work with it, it will offer opportunities to travel agents as well as travellers.
- There is always a possibility that large ticket websites like Expedia or Cheaptickets.com also will offer this second hand ticket service.
Who advised you your idea isn’t going to be successful and why didn’t you listen to them?
Almost everybody who is working for conventional legacy airliners and the travel agents on the corner of the street.
I didnâ€™t listen to them because the employees of the large airliners arenâ€™t used to look broader than their own airline. And the travel agents at the corner of the street donâ€™t believe in internet at all, and therefore also not in Re-ticket.com
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
Having 100.000 visitors per month would be good for a start, having a positive cash flow, and ideally 25% of the tickets offered published by travel agents / touroperators.