The travel industry is no stranger to hardship, but the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on the industry.
After seeing no business for nearly two years, online travel aggregators (OTAs) are now trying to tap the pent-up demand for travel with the easing of travel restrictions.
According to Statista, the travel and tourism market is expected to reach $637.7 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 10.47 percent during 2022-2026, resulting in a projected market volume of $949.60 billion by 2026.
From booking tickets to providing exciting offers and deals from time-to-time, travel startups are assisting users with tailor-made plans to make their holidays hassle free.
Here are some platforms that can help you plan holidays, book tickets, and provide tailor-made packages.
Founded in 2014 by Dinesh Kumar Kotha, Sripad Vaidya, and Gagan Chaudhary, Bengaluru-basedis an online ticket platform that provides seamless ticket booking experience.
The platform predicts the chances of train ticket confirmation based on trends. These predictions help users assess risks of booking a wait-listed ticket and plan the trip accordingly.
“Sometimes, no quota can get you confirmed tickets for a train journey. ConfirmTKT Alternates is a simple solution for the complex problem, which eliminates the need of agents who charge hefty fees from passengers to book confirmed tickets. The ConfirmTKT App does it free of cost,” says Sripad.
In February 2021, ixigo acquired 100 percent shareholding in ConfirmTKT. The app has over 20 million downloads on Google Play store.
Founded in 2007 by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, Gurugram-basedis a platform helps in tracking trips, travel bookings, and searching for transportation.
It is a tech-based company that focuses on helping Indian travelers to book, plan, and manage their trips by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data science.
“Ixigo has emerged as a unique travel business that combines the best of meta-search marketplace and OTA business models to provide an unparalleled customer experience to Indian travellers. Customers love us for our product, and the word of mouth we generate helps us grow without spending a lot on brand or performance marketing. We are also proud of our capital efficiency, having achieved what we have with a team of just 150 people. We can see profitability around the corner now,” says Aloke.
In July 2021, the startup raised $53 million from GIC, InfoEdge, and others in a pre-IPO funding round.
Noida-based RailYatri is a travel portal for booking confirmed railway and bus travel tickets. The startup was founded in 2014 by Sachin Saxena, Manish Rathi, and Kapil Raizada.
(L to R) Sachin Saxena, Manish Rathi and Kapil Raizada, co-founders, RailYatri
RailYatri provides comprehensive information about trains and passenger luxuries at platforms, stations, and the speed of the train, along with personalised alerts via SMS, mobile app, mobile web.
In April 2018, RailYatri raised undisclosed amount in Series-B funding from Omidyar Network, Helion Ventures Partners, Blume Ventures, and others to expand into budget hotels and packages and hire aggressively.
“There are so many adhoc solutions for the railways and we aim to consolidate it into one place. We worked very closely with the Indian Railways on our products to get a better understanding of how they work,” says Manish.
Founded in 2014 by Hari Ganapathy, Srinath Shankarnarayanan, and Kalyanaraman Rengarajan, Chennai-based online travel aggregatorprovides tailor-made international holidays for travellers and book multi-country vacations online.
The startup helps users purchase, customise, and create vacation in one shot. It tracks the user itinerary journey of what the algorithm produces versus what the customer eventually booked.
“A vacation unlike a train or a flight booking is not a transactional purchase. It’s an involved, multi-party, emotional decision. This translates to reassurance, empathy, and trust being the key drivers. This is where our unique touch + tech model helps,” Hari says.
Recently, the startup raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Kunal Shah, Adit Parekh and Vinay Ahuja, and existing investors to expand and be the preferred travel brand for new age travelers across the world.
Founded in 2013 by Anirudh Gupta and Michael Pargal Lyngdoh, New Delhi-basedis a global travel community platform that brings together user-generated community, community and marketplace, and travel content on its platform.
In April 2019, the startup raised Rs 25 crore in series B round from Chiratae Ventures, Orchid India, Hornbill Orchid India Fund, 3one4 Capital, and Lasmer NV to scale and focus on vernacular content, leveraging the strength of its flourishing community, and short video and influencer commerce.
“We are now working towards the personalisation of user experiences on Tripoto through our own collected big data in travel. Personalised news-feeds, native ads and the deep integration of hotels and homestays into content are the next step for us. It is important that hotels and homestays are relevant to the content and context of the traveller, and we are in a very strong position to solve that,” says Anirudh.