Contxto – Although flight-hunting started as a hobby for these three founders in 2014, it soon became a solid business when users started spreading the word.
The entrepreneurs certainly liked to travel as lean and economically as possible. Now, finding the best discounts and bargains online is what Luis Delgado, María Fernanda Fernández and Óscar Sánchez – the three founders – do best!
Gurú de Viaje is a website – recently turned app – that searches and notifies users when great traveling opportunities arise.
You could find a round trip flight for only US $150 from Mexico City to Lima, Peru, for example. However, there’s a catch, you’re not always free to choose the dates.
Yeah, I thought so too. Who, in their right mind, would buy tickets to travel to a random place at a random time, right?
The startup has managed to partner with top Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and airlines, such as Volaris, Al Mundo, Lufthansa, Air France and Kayak, by offering them exposure to their wide user base. Just so you know, the company has over 1.2 million Facebook page likes.
Its main revenue source is a B2B model. Basically, charging the OTA’s and airlines from the leads, clicks and traffic they drive to their own websites. This has resulted in over US $270k in revenue during 2017.
However, the startup also charges a B2C commission to passengers that would like to include extra services to their reservation.
Finally, the ads. Ads are classic.
Too good to be true?
I love the website, many friends of mine do too – even my great-grandmother – and I actually recommend it to people when they ask for traveling tools or apps.
Nonetheless, there are many opportunity areas for the Tapatio startup. Although it provides services over a web and mobile platform, the search process is not automated yet. The team, conformed by over 12 people, devotes half of its workforce to finding deals, manually.
That might not have repercussions to the consumers directly, but it sure limits their internal capacity of supply. That is not scalable.
Fortunately they’re already working on this.
The company is developing an algorithm to identify the best travel opportunities automatically. The new machine learning-powered feature also identifies user’s preferences and suggests tailored opportunities to them.
The app, a tinder-like mobile version of the website, matches users interests and the available opportunities at the time.
Random traveling is, undoubtedly, a rapid growing trend. As millennials start to overtake the workforce, it does not seem to slow down anytime soon.
Weirdly enough, 60% of people said they would seriously consider an impulse ticket purchase if it’s a good hotel or flight deal!
Furthermore, customization is king (as in most industries). Around 57% of US travelers, felt that companies should tailor and customize their offerings to their personal taste in order to be appealing.
Lastly, VC’s are taking part of this trend. In the first two months of 2018, 76 travel-tech startups worldwide, raised over US $6.5B in funding amount.
Redwood Ventures, Guadalajara-based VC fund, spotted the market opportunity and led an investment round in Gurú De Viaje as of September of this year, joined by other angel investors.
Seems like the company is going big. Perhaps bigger than we could even see in the short term.
We’ll keep an eye on these guys!