With the onset of spring, there’s a sudden change in the winds and everyone’s caught in the maddening chaos of piling work and meeting deadlines because of the year ending ahead. And just like that spring is over and its summer! Why not take it slow and plan a good vacation right away to make it up for all those stressful days? This Startup has got your back and has taken travelling to the next level by paving ways in which tourists can make real-time friends with fellow travellers all around the world.
Intrigued? So are we.
Unlike any other travel websites or services, TravelUR not only plans and charts out the entire trip to your favourite holiday destination, but it also makes sure that the travellers get a complete experience of it all by integrating User Data and User preferences and use the same data to bring in unique experiences through a first-in-its-class social media app and website where users connect with family, real friends and fellow travellers through messaging, posting and chat to share their travel adventures with the world.
The first travel-focused social media platform of its kind, TravelUR also allows all booking services from Point Of View (POV) of travellers– which is what matters, as experience and reviews from previous visitors always count for any new tourists.
And that’s not all! TravelUR combines social engagement with all travel related services in a way that traveller can customize and create an exclusive travel Profile, setup preferences and top it of with best deals available in the market!
Travel profile with preferences and choices – Analytics based personal digital travel assistant will track all personal preferences & prompt news, activities, user engagement.
The only social network focused exclusively on travel – No cluttering of information, except for preferred travel related information, services, products, reviews and deals.
Individual Traveler dashboard – Store, view and manage all travel related activities easily at one location – trips, friends, groups, frequent flyer details
Single data repository for all travel activities – All travel memories & activities digitally stored in single place for future generations – posts, photos, videos, itineraries, experiences.
Launched in April 2017, this startup is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA and has branch offices in Hyderabad and Exton and Pennsylvania. The idea of empowering travel with social media came across through the personal experiences of both the founders, Sunil Konduru and Sekhar Kolla who also happen to be extensive travellers.
Sunil has twenty-five years of corporate experience and is an expert when it comes to technology solutions, program management and operations of global companies. He also has lived in Africa, Europe, south-east Asia and North America. He currently lives in Greater Philadelphia Area, USA.
Sunil describes what motivated him to join the entrepreneurial culture:
Having worked for major technology and global financial giants for close to 20 years, I wanted to do something creative with my passion for travel and wanted to expand my horizons. I wanted to combine my knowledge of technology with my passion and come up with a unique and helpful tool for travellers like me.
Sekhar, on the other hand, is the sole founder of the multi-million dollar IT consulting services company – Kollasoft Inc and has been a pillar in taking TravelUR to the next level.
Rome wasn’t Built in a Day is true to all those who have started something revolutionary in their society and looks like TravelUR is no different.
Currently having a team size of 35 and a strong global advisory team, with global user sign-ups to the range of 30,000 and counting, 194 Holiday Packages and 940 Tourist Destinations Worldwide. Travel UR also has tied up’s with 352 hotels across the world and 43 active Tour Operators in 32 countries. But things weren’t the same always for this self-funded startup.
According to the founders, the most difficult times were:
Competition & Look of a regular OTA
Building a single platform combining social engagement with regular online and extended travel services was a challenge and the team had to take a lot of effort in building the application and related infrastructure from scratch. The tech team also built all APIs that would integrate with all the other service providers. By providing all the services themselves initially, it made the team stronger fundamentally and grow as a system.
2. Revenue vs. Social Traction
A big dilemma at first, they adopted a conservative approach for TravelUR and aimed for both social and revenue traction in the initial days to ensure that the team is motivated towards achieving tangible goals. The sole aim is to focus on social first and then on becoming a travel aggregator or a service based provider.
Dreaming to become the global social network in travel, empowering 50 million travellers worldwide through Social engagement and sustainable tourism supporting 5,000 destinations generating 50,000 employment opportunities within the next 5 years using advanced Analytics, AI and Block-chain technologies, TravelUR is looking to become the Amazon of travel industries.