Founders: Prakash Sikchi & Anoop Goyal
Pitch: Inspirock helps you plan great vacations.
Andrew's Commentary: A few weeks ago, I went to Asheville for a 4-day cycling trip. I'm not a particularly good planner, and I'm terrible at thinking through itineraries in advance. My planning for this trip was similar to my planning for every other trip I take: a few days before the trip, or even once I land, I search TripAdvisor, Yelp and Google to make an itinerary. In this case, I was trying to figure out what routes to cycle, what sites to see, what restaurants to visit. And still my itinerary seemed so poorly thought through and inefficiently designed.
The biggest challenge for me was not finding answers to the questions I asked, but not asking the right questions. When I got home, someone sent me links for amazing hikes on the Appalachian trail. If I knew then what I know now, I would have traded one of my cycling days for one of the hikes I saw.
The future of planning a vacation won't be the disjointed experience of booking flights, hotels, restaurants and places to visit as isolated events. I believe that next-generation online travel experiences will propose holistic itineraries that leverage many different online resources in one place.
Mission: To help people plan great vacations with the help of technology.
Macro Thesis: Building a trip itinerary typically requires visiting 38 websites over a period of 21 days. On the other hand, technology exists that can track millions of tourist attractions to find ones that best match your interest. It can also explore trillions of possibilities to solve constraints like travel time, distance and closing hours. It is inevitable that technology will be used to help people personalize their vacation itineraries.
Market Sizing: Over a billion international trips are taken each year with a spend of one trillion dollars. More than half of that is leisure travel. Inspirock focuses on vacations where users make their own plans - that's $110B. A third of that spend is easy to monetize (for example, hotels). At a 10% commission rate, the market size is estimated to be approximately $3.5B.
Product Or Service: Inspirock is a free online service that helps vacation goers plan out where to go and what to see based on their interests. With a few clicks, you describe your preferences. For example, do you like an active vacation? Will there be kids? Want to explore history and culture? Then Inspirock builds you an itinerary that best matches your interests. Using its tools and recommendations, you can easily change your plan until it is just right.
Real And Vaporware: Today, Inspirock is the only trip planner that can build a custom itinerary spanning entire regions or even multiple countries. You can plan your drive up the California Coast, or your week in London and Paris or a month of sightseeing across Europe. Inspirock makes it easy to plan, customize, and share. And soon you will be able to do all this on a phone. Today, Inspirock covers all destinations in Europe and the US. Going forward, it will cover every popular destination in the world.
Why Us: We were backpacking in Washington state's famous Cascade Mountains when we came across a beautiful view of Inspiration Lake. We wanted others to have similar experiences and we realized how hard it is to seek and plan a great vacation. A few months of brainstorming later, we wrote the first lines of code and Inspirock was born.
Here's what we did: we spent a year building a great team and working on our core backend algorithms. Then we spent 2 years refining our UX. Now users from 150 countries have built plans covering 3000 destinations, and they love the product.
So now we're working on user acquisition - in April we had 10,000 users and we are growing 30% month over month. Plus, we have strong support from all of our investors, and industry expertise from MakeMyTrip. Best of all, we love to help people have great vacations. So we'll nail this one too.
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