— is a free online tool that is great at organizing complex
trips in collaboration, and supporting the travelers on the go.

www.trip.center

Trip.center is a globally scalable product that has multiple recurring monetization channels and is operating on a growing market. The company is already investor-backed. This makes Trip.center a valuable investment opportunity.

Team

Click on a person to show/hide
experience and qualifications

Andrii Shekhirev Andrii with a parrot

Andrii Shekhirev

Jurijs Kovzels Jurijs and the wind

Jurijs Kovzels

Aleksejs Kolpakovs Aleksejs and a coconut

Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Andrii Shekhirev
  • Responsible for: product design, marketing
  • Educated as: MSc Finance at Stockholm School of Economics
  • Has worked on: Satori Studio (founder, designer), TraderSapiens (founder), NePlankton (co-founder), Colliers (financial consultant), Citadele Bank (portfolio manager)
  • Possesses skills: start-ups, market research, online marketing, graphic design, web development, asset management, corporate finance
Jurijs Kovzels
  • Responsible for: product implementation
  • Educated as: Bachelor of Computer Science at Transport and Telecommunication Institute
  • Has worked on: 77Agency/ Social Ads Tool (lead developer), Analyst Programmer at Accenture Latvia, Rheadm WP8 app developer and designer
  • Possesses skills: software engineering, agile development processes, UX design
Aleksejs Kolpakovs
  • Responsible for: product concept, finance
  • Educated as: MSc Finance and Investment at RSM Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Has worked on: Daugavpils Locomotive Repair Plant (board member, CFO), Rietumu Banka (credit project manager)
  • Possesses skills: corporate finance, financial analysis, business process analysis, implementation of enterprise resource planning info systems

Opportunity

People like to travel. However, every trip requires certain planning effort - to achieve the trip’s goals; to feel secure; to save money; to run smoothly and leave great memories.

However, most travelers find that planning a trip may often be frustrating given available tools: the process is difficult, time-consuming, and nerve-wrecking, while the tools are inflexible and limited. Some of the common problems include:

  • strict trip planning process boundaries in the existing tools
  • numerous tickets and booking confirmations stored in an hard-to-find way
  • uncertainty in filling all the gaps in the trip plan due to the lack of big picture
  • trip information is not available “on the go” and offline
  • collaboration is cumbersome and unstructured, and becomes even more complicated with increasing number of co-travelers
  • keeping track of the budget is difficult
— no single existing tool covers all of the above trip planning needs,
and we are building the one that does.

Solution

Our product meets the demand for a universal trip planning tool
and addressing the above mentioned issues:

Crystallize!
Plan from scratch by adding bits about the trip in structured or unstructured fashion. Trip.center does not impose required fields or sequence, giving you full freedom in the planning process. Start by making free-form notes and add structure later, or begin in a structured fashion right away.
Collect!
Input, store and organize trip information in form that is convenient and flexible for each particular application user. No more searching for reservations, bookings, boarding passes, tickets, etc - Trip.center is the only place to look for all your travel details and documents - available from everywhere.
Summarize!
Visualize trip information on different detalization levels across timing and destinations (entire trip overview; timeline overview; day overview; destination overview).
Mobilize!
Access trip data and receive offline notifications on a mobile device during the trip. Synchronize your trip plans between your computer and portable device.
Collaborate!
Attach a discussion to the entire trip or to any particular trip element, be it a simple note, a flight, an event, or a specific date/destination - or the entire trip as a whole.
Budget!
Provide an easy way to register, share, manage and validate trip expenses. Automatically summarize expenses and “split the bill” among all trip participants.

Market

Demand for trip planning tools closely follows the development of the travel industry. The latter is forecasted to almost double by 2030, from 1.1 billion international tourists in 2013 (1). Current trends in the demand for trip planning tools can be observed on the example of the US market: in 2012, 4% of domestic leisure travelers said to have used mobile devices in planning their trips, a fourfold increase from 2009 (2); given the ongoing transition to smartphones this growth rate can be expected to persist in the near future.

Our product is designed to facilitate trip planning process for any traveler; however, we are specifically focusing on the following target audience: students and young professionals conducting trips with several destinations, for active vacations, sports, or business purposes, especially trips involving several co-planners. Geographically we are targeting all regions of the world; Trip.center will initially have an English interface, which we plan to translate into regional languages after the public release.

Competition

Existing competitive solutions can be subdivided into two broad categories: a). close substitutes - trip planning apps built specifically for this purpose (e.g. TripIt, Tripomatic, etc). b). functional substitutes - general-purpose products, not intended specifically for managing trips, yet often used in this fashion (e.g. Evernote, Gmail, Google Documents, Facebook).

For the purposes of preliminary competitor analysis we have reviewed 20 products from both categories, mapping them against 50+ functional attributes that we believe should be present in a trip planner app (full excel file available upon request). Overall, the primary competitors, judging by user experience, functionality, and current popularity, are as follows: TripIt, Tripomatic, Triporama, Gmail + Google Documents.

Trip.center TripIt Triporama Google* Evernote
Crystallize +++ + + ++ ++
Collect +++ ++ + ++ +
Summarize +++ + ++ ++ +
Mobilize +++ ++ + + ++
Collaborate +++ + +++ ++ +
Budget +++ ++ + ++ +
*Google tools = Gmail + Google Documents + Google Calendar + Google Maps

Product

        

The Trip.center travel planner consists of a web service and a mobile app; the latter
is synchronizable with the web service, enabling offline access to trip information.

      

The mobile application will be available on all major mobile
platforms to maximize market coverage and appeal.

Trip.center for business

We all know that a smooth business trip includes a lot of travel preparations beforehand and plenty of paperwork afterwards. Hard-to-get management approval, forgotten expenses, lost checks and boarding passes, and complex reporting are just part of the problems that organizations face.

Apart from all the features for leisure travelers, Trip.center for Business helps to solve all problems that organizations are facing by allowing them to:

  • Set up roles and permissions for travel planners, travelers, report writers, accountants and management
  • Conveniently hand over travel arrangements to travelers
  • Upload any document and receipt photos right from your smartphone
  • Allow travelers to record and categorize all travel expenses
  • Allow tagging business trip expenses with product name, country name or client name for a more comprehensive and sliced reporting

Monetization

B2C
Trip.Center is free for private use; the consumer version (B2C) has a goal of collecting a wide user base and monetizing via affiliate links to booking services (flights, hotels, etc). In addition to that, the B2C version can be used as an advertising platform for highly targeted promotion based on the Trip.Center users’ travel plans and preferences. At the moment we have signed up to Booking.com and RentalCars.com and are receiving first affiliate clicks.
B2B
In 2016 we plan to roll out paid versions - "Trip.Center for Business" - optimized and offering additional features for specific user groups:
  1. SMEs: business trip planning and expense reporting (possibility to use progressive pricing plans).
  2. Tour guides: tour planning and management, interacting with tour groups in real time (positive side-effect: wide distribution channel for expanding B2C customer base).
  3. Artist/band managers: tour planning and additional interaction with fans (positive side-effect: higher incentives for B2C users to join and follow their favourite bands).
Extra
In addition to the above, potential monetization opportunities include:
  • Live personal travel assistance: call an operator to find out what’s next on your itinerary.
  • Personalized travel planning for high-net-worth individuals based on desired trip criteria.

First Results

At the moment we have launched the B2C version - www.trip.center - and have conducted first marketing tests; please see details below:

Marketing setup:

  • Goal: preliminary testing of user engagement.
  • Targeting: keywords related to trip planners and itinerary builders, US, CA, UK, AU, rest of the world; English language.
  • Demand: 145k views total
  • Total clicks: 2.5k for 530 EUR (avg. CPC: 0.20 EUR) before campaign optimization.
  • Scaling: potentially can obtain more clicks using higher bids and expanding the keyword/targeting base.

Test results (Out of a total of 2.5k clicks):

  • Low bounce rate: 60% of visitor create demo trips
  • Significant sign-up rate: 9.5%
    • Improve by introducing additional features (social and mobile), introducing trip templates
    • Retain by email marketing, sending regular deals on hotels and airline tickets, providing trip inspirations
  • High monetization potential: 2.7% affiliate click rate
    • Improve by introducing new affiliate partners (i.e. skyscanner, car rentals etc)

Financials

Finalizing B2C version 10,000
Development B2B version 90,000
Tech. support of B2B version 6,300
Office expenses 3,500
Misc. various expenses 2,250
B2C full scale marketing 45,000
B2B full scale marketing 30,000
Total expenses 187,050

Total funds required to finalize B2C version and fully develop B2B version as well as to carry out full scale marketing tests is estimated at 200 000 EUR. Around 100 000 EUR is required to finance personnel and hire additional team members including developers, designer and support staff. Around 75 000 EUR is required to carry out extensive B2C and B2B marketing campaigns. Remaining funds will be used to run office and daily expenses. Any free funds, if they arise, will be directed to speed up the development process and marketing expansion. Please refer to the table below for a brief breakdown of the requested sum; a detailed spreadsheet is available from the link below the table.

The Investment Opportunity

Currently seeking next round financing: 200,000 EUR
Thank you for considering our proposition!

Available Upon Request

- in-depth competitor analysis (Excel)
- analysis of monetization channels (Excel)
- issue queue of the project
- source code of the product

Contact Information

Aleksejs Kolpakovs Aleksejs Kolpakovs
Product concept, finance
(+371) 26628278
akolpakovs@trip.center
Andrii Shekhirev Jurijs Kovzels
Product design, marketing
(+371) 29888975
jkovzels@trip.center