TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring US-based GlobeTrotr, a members-only social travel planning platform.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
GlobeTrotr is a members-only social travel-planning site. Itâ€™s a community for travel enthusiasts to meet people, explore new places, and share new adventures.
Usersâ€™ travels, comments, reviews, points of interst are curated and serve as timelines. Members join trips that others are planning, plan trips, and find others to join their trips and generally connect over travel via their social graph.
GlobeTrotr shows the travel sector how consumers now influence brands. We create the community where users can build their brands, create voices and find themselves sought after by the brands they once sought.
- Jonathan Palan: Deep experience in web-based financial start-ups. Jon came up with the idea for GlobeTrotr when he tried and failed to connect with like-minded travellers going to the same destination.
- Sam Feuer: Founder of MindSmack Team, awarded Best Web Design Company by TopSEOs.com. MindSmack is ranked No. 6 in Inc. magazineâ€™s media category of â€ś500 Entrepreneurial Superstars.â€ť
- Jason Jones: Founder of HighStep Capital, an investor in web-based companies, and previously co-founder of four venture-backed, web-based start-ups.
- Greg Arrese: Hedge fund manager at Scoggin Capital Management and angel investor (Knewton, Buuteeq, Energysavvy, Shopkeep). Greg follows the media and telecom industries and graduated from Harvard Business School.
- T Trent Gegax: President of The Gramercy Fund, a seed-stage investment firm (Knewton, Buuteeq, Energysavvy, Shopkeep). Heâ€™s a former correspondent for Newsweek magazine, where he covered politics, the military, and the advent of the Web in the mid-1990s.
- Tony Coretto: Founder and CEO of PNT Marketing, a provider of marketing support services to financial services firms. Tony is a member of the World Entrepreneurs Forum and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
We are a self-funded project
What problem are you trying to solve?
Travel is naturally a very engaging subject. People love to share experiences, photos, videos, and reviews as well as meet new people to explore new places and adventures.
Yet todayâ€™s social media toolsâ€”Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedinâ€”are too broad and too general to make it easy to share travel ideas with friends that you trust and people youâ€™d like to meet.
The quantity-versus-quality quandary is driven by a dearth of niche sites that focus on specific verticals.
Few if any web-based communities facilitate engagement in the physical world or allow users to monetize their online presence.
Given that the consumer is now the main influencer, we are giving consumers a platform to extract the true value of social media.
Describe the business, core products and services?
Two things cause GlobeTrotr to stand out in the travel space:
It allows users to connect in the real world while sharing common interests and travel and adventure tastes
It connects user-mavens with brands that sponsor users in form of cash, products, and other perks.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Tech-savvy travel bloggers, adventure capitalists, and anyone looking to explore new places and share new adventures.
The concept is demographic and geographic agnostic.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
First, we self-funded and started building. Then we received positive feedback from jetsetters, yoga masters, adrenaline junkies, beach bums, and gypsies.
We have taken no outside money.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
We have a highly targeted audience that is providing very specific granular data on their travel plans and bucket lists in a very competitive large space.
Granular Data + Competitive Market = Good Advertising Platform.
We will also grow into transaction-based revenues as we integrate with travel sights and search engines so users can live within the application or site.
SWOT analysis â€“ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- A dynamic, diverse team collaborates well and our design and development team consists of some of the most talented people in the industry.
- A rush of too many ideas flooding our core concept.
- To make travel planning social, fun, and easy which will ultimately facilitate the transfer of power from brands to consumers.
- The ever-increasing pace of innovation that occurs on a daily basis.
Who advised you your idea isn’t going to be successful and why didn’t you listen to them?
Lots of people whose opinions we respect told us the idea wouldnâ€™t work. Most people say itâ€™s a saturated market, and what do we know about mobile?
Like one of our fathers said, no matter how crowded an area is there is always room for another good one.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
Itâ€™s hard to say on a quantitative scale what success looks like.
But we think success is a user-driven product that scales at virtually no cost because once they try us people cannot imagine planning trips any other way and GlobeTrotr spreads by word of mouthâ€”and share of post.