Traveling and exploring the world is always fun but the planning that goes behind it can be really tiring and time consuming. In this fast paced world where everything is just a tap away, Praveen Kumar (IIM Lucknow), Karthik Ramachandra (IIM Indore) and Saket Newaskar (MDI Gurgaon) came up with TripHobo, a platform that helps travelers across the globe to plan their trip and
also provides them with personalised itineraries. TripHobo runs on an algorithm that helps a traveler to plan their trip by taking into account a number of key factors like accommodation, restaurants, tourist
attractions and transportation.
This Pune-based startup, which has been growing 50% every month since last 2-3 quarters , raised $3 million from Mayfield and existing investor Kalaari Capital earlier this year. Prior to this they had their Series-A round last year in July where they raised an undisclosed amount. According to Saket, they always wanted to start something of their own and started thinking about ideas and in that time span they saw that they had a common interest in creating something unique in the travel ecosystem. “We did a lot of research to create something that is scalable, disruptive and at the same time should be able to add a lot of value to the travelers. We came up with few concepts and TripHobo, which was initially called Joguru, was one of them that we had in mind and launched it in 2012. Surprisingly it attracted a lot of user feedback and that gave us an idea of the major problem that people face in the travel ecosystem and made us go ahead with TripHobo,” adds Saket.
Saket claims that TripHobo is extremely tech-savvy and an interactive platform that enables its users plan trips to more than 20,000 cities across the world with more than 3 lakh attractions which they have curated with technology and manual work. It provides its customers with two options, they can either create their own itinerary or ask TripHobo to suggest one for them.
What differentiates TripHobo from other travel portals is its ability to provide accurate logistics information to its users like opening and closing times which helps people reduce their travel time between attractions. They have been partnering extensively with big players to make sure they improve their customer experiences. “We focus on five things which are content, accommodation, restaurants, activities and transportation. When it comes to content it primarily involves content related to the city and the attractions available in and around the city and that is what we are developing on our own. For other factors we are partnering with various players, and have already partnered with Zomato so that our users get to access and utilise Zomato global database of restaurants,” says Saket. He mentions that initially it was tough for them to rope in partners because they were not a brand that people recognised but with time they improved and made people understand what their brand stands for and how it helps in solving a major problem.
Saket admits that what lacks in their business model is that they don’t help the user with the option of estimating the cost after preparing the itineraries and they will soon launch this feature on their site where they will provide their users with cost estimates after the itinerary is made.