In the first hours of going live on Companisto, the Hamburg-based start-up TripRebel raised over 75,410€ toward its 400,000€ funding goal. In 2015, the European Commission selected TripRebel as the “Best European Startup.”
In January 2013, while TripRebel founder Carlos Borges was living in Bahia, Brazil, he sought to find hotel rooms for a large group of friends from Germany. “In the end, everything worked out – but I was a little annoyed that the rooms were offered for a lot less later on. In eight out of ten cases, room rates change after booking. If one books through TripRebel, however, one can secure the difference or choose an upgrade. According to Borges, the rule of thumb – that booking early will always guarantee the lowest price – no longer applies. TripRebel wants to remedy this situation: If one books through the start-up’s site, s/he will benefit from subsequent price fluctuations as cancellation rates are always charged. And that is exactly what differentiates the start-up from other portals that only provide snap shots of the rates.
“After booking, our search engine checks the booked hotel rate every day: If the rate goes down after booking, TripRebel will cancel the old rate and rebook you for the new price. The discount will be transferred back to your account. If the hotels offer an upgrade, our customers will often be the first to benefit from the exclusive deal,” commented Carlos Borges, who co-founded the start-up in 2014 with neuroscientist Dr. Gernot Supp.
According to Borges, customers can save on average up to 20% in approx. 1/3 of all bookings. The site registers around 10,000 visitors per month. The majority of visitors are from abroad, with USA users accounting for 53% of the site’s entire traffic. Currently 200,000 hotels listed on the site ranging from Aachen to Zaragoza. In 2016, TripRebel plans to increase the number of partner hotels to 500,000. Customers may donate the amount saved to Welthungerhilfe, a German aid agency in order to help the rebuilding process in Nepal.
In order to grow even faster, TripRebel launching its equity crowdfunding financing round on Companisto, counting prominent investor and business angel Lutz Bethge (and former Montblanc CEO) among its supporters. Most recently, the ProSiebenSat1 Accelerator also came on board as an investor after having chosen TripRebel from a list of more than 300 start-ups.
“We will continue to invest in our core technology and build our team. We also want to develop the marketing department,” said Borges when asked how the funds will be allocated.
The global hotel industry has a volume of €709 billion, €177 billion of which can be attributed to the three key markets (the U.S., the UK, and Germany). Of these €177 billion, €30 billion can be attributed to online bookings made via hotel booking platforms and price comparison portals such as TripRebel. Since 2014, TripRebel’s booking revenue has increased by 147% per quarter and recently amounted to €130,000: TripRebel is paid a commission of between 5 and 10% by the respective hotel provider. The most important target group are “young professionals” who frequently go on city trips.
Registered Companists will find more detailed information about TripRebel’s campaign here. To date, more than 44,000 registered investors who have invested on Companisto, with a total of over €24 million in 50 financing campaigns for start-ups and growth companies.
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