Some startups would throw the towel after admitting to a “terrible” first year in operation – but UK-based TripEdge has scrapped its agent lead-gen system to enter the crowded world of deals.
The company launched in early-2011 [TLabs Showcase - TripEdge] with a service allowing consumers to obtain holiday deals by connecting them with travel agents around the country.
Agents were asked to pay an annual fee (Â£99) for the privilege of having what TripEdge hoped would be qualified leads from consumers.
Earlier this year – when TripEdge completed the TLabs Reprise catch-up – the company admitted it had not made any money in its first year but was hopeful of a change in fortunes after overhauling a lot of the back-end technology.
Founder Robert Wheeler admitted finding agents willing to pay a fee to participate had proved difficult to achieve, so scrapped the original payment plan in return for a pay-per-lead model.
A few months on and TripEdge has abandoned the lead-gen idea entirely, preferring instead to pivot away to a deals newsletter service, after conceding the original idea simply hadn’t worked.
“We donâ€™t think the problem is only with selling travel leads, we believe that it is a problem with selling any type of lead generation service,” Wheeler said in March this year.
He says during the launch of the new service that due to the “continuing down turn of the UK travel industry, travel agents didn’t want to pay for travel leads, no matter how cost effective it was”.
Nevertheless, TripEdge has kept the payment model in place for agents and tour operators on the new deals service – an annual fee of Â£499 (or Â£49 per month) is charged to have deals pushed out to subscribers.