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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Travel startup isibit to scale into Colombia and Brazil, after joining Y Combinator

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Many borders are closed and planes are parked. But Covid-19 can’t stop travel startups from going out into the world and raising some funds along the way—or at least, from pitching remotely.

Case and point is the fact that Y Combinator accepted Mexican isibit into its Summer 2020 Batch despite the travel industry facing its biggest crisis yet.

Isibit is helping companies stay on budget through a platform that manages business travel expenses. But its plans for the future show there’s more innovation and ambition to come from this emerging company.

The “joys” of business travel

Fly business class? It’s okay, the company is paying for it.

Room service? It’s okay, the company is paying for it.

Steak for dinner? It’s okay, the company is paying for it.

If you haven’t noticed, business travel can turn into an expensive affair for many enterprises. That’s also why they have policies in place to keep spending within reasonable means. However, wily workers can always find loopholes to justify a purchase.

Moreover, receiving and managing receipts to document everything is also troublesome for both employee and employer. 

But Mexican travel startup isibit has arrived to add order to this chaos.

Making travel easier through isibit

Through isibit’s platform, companies can upload their travel policies. Then, employees pick their flights and budgets in compliance with these rules. Likewise, managers can oversee expenses through the system as well as approve or reject trips.

What’s in it for the policy-abiding employee? Why one of the best incentives: money.

Isibit co-Founder, Miguel Medina, told Contxto the platform offers a rewards program wherein the more the employee saves on the trip, the more they get in return for themselves.

Companies can register their travel policy on isibit at no cost. However, as a SaaS, it will charge businesses whenever they manage a trip using its system.

Isibit background

Two of Isibit’s three co-founders—Miguel Medina and Ángel Arias—had worked in executive roles at Rappi. Thus, they had experienced first-hand just how annoying it was to travel while keeping track of expenses and receipts.

Meanwhile, co-Founder Antonio Martínez’s background granted him in-depth skills in product development. With their insights combined, work on isibit began in December of 2019.

The entrepreneurs had prepped a beta version of their product and had hoped to officially release the platform in April of this year. But with Covid-19, they delayed its rollout until just last week.

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Though before the pandemic, business meetings were often carried out in person. Now a large amount are doing so via video conferencing. Does this spell trouble for isibit? Not necessarily. 

“While it is true there will be companies that reduce the number of trips they carry out per year, we also believe there are businesses, sectors, and segments that will always need to travel,” said CEO and co-Founder, Miguel Medina, during our call.

He mentioned the construction and automotive industry as examples.

Moreover, the Executive considers that Covid-19 has opened another door for the startup.

With staff working from all corners of the planet, the isibit team believes that eventually, companies will call for a gettogether, and that’s an important market opportunity as well.

Rappi roots and ambitions

Remember how I mentioned earlier that two of isibit’s co-Founders worked at Rappi? Well their background in the blitz-scaling unicorn is reflected in this travel startup’s plans for the future.

Isibit shall launch a beta version into Colombia by year’s end and then in 2021, it hopes to reach Brazil.

As far as new products are concerned, the startup will stretch into two industries. 

Through the launch of the isibit corporate credit card, companies will be able to better manage travel expenses. This endeavor would be isibit’s debut into the fintech vertical.

Simultaneously, it also wants to get into insurance through products that cover hospitalization in case of a Covid-19 infection, insurance for lost luggage, etc.

If you’ve connected the dots properly, you’ll realize the startup wants to be an end-to-end solution in all things related to business travel.

It’s ambitious, it’s all-encompassing, and I like it.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Mexico!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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