Ready for a new investment or for a vacation? Oh, the places you will go! itravel could be the first digital travel agency that uses data analysis, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology in order to provide customers with individually personalized trips. itravel seeks to remove the need for a middleman, providing a higher profit margin for both itravel and providers in the destination country.
Founded by CEO Axel Schmiegelow (the former CEO of denkwerk), itravel has noted its revenue has increased eightfold €8 million since 2014. Since launching on Companisto, with the confidence of 52+ investors, itravel has raised over 268,500€ for 6.98 % equity toward its 1.5M€ goal. The startup is valued at 20,000,000€. The platform touts two particular tech advances: 1) a configuration of suitable building blocks through data analysis in real time and artificial intelligence and 2) Blockchain link removes cost savings of bank and credit card fees.
Several prominent investors, including a former executive of Thomas Cook and the current director of Holidaycheck Dr. Thomas Döring, Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman, Christophe Maire founder Florian Heinemann (who contributed to the success of Zalando) and MIT professor Kenneth Morse. itravel wants to increase its portion of the 240 billion euro market for customizable trips and has linked with Companisto for a co-finanacing to help make this next stage of growth happen.itravel's booking revenue has multiplied eightfold since 2014 to €8 million.Click To Tweet
As part of this co-financing round, the VCDE fund will invest in itravel anew with a sum of €200,000 along with four other investors with a total sum of up to €2 million. In addition to VCDE, the venture department of the Luxembourg travel group Emile Weber will be on board.
“In addition to the certified investment of VCDE of over €200,000, a total amount of €1.3 million was fixed within the framework of a term sheet. Conversations regarding the remaining €500,000 on the term sheet are currently running,” according to the campaign. “itravel’s goal is to become the international market leader for individualized trips within the next five years, and to achieve a high retention rate of satisfied customers through the usage of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.”
How it works… itravel offers its customers the opportunity to create their own trips by compiling and booking their desired experiences and activities online in advance. itravel applies the principle of machine learning, which stems from AI, in order to predict matches between customers, seasons and trip components. This way, itravel can appropriately pair its offers with the customer’s preferences. By recording and evaluating click and search behavior, reservations, and customer information, itravel statistically determines matching product characteristics and customer profiles.
“Blockchain technology allows itravel to directly book and pay providers in the country of destination for the desired travel packages, which eliminates the high costs of bank and credit card servicing fees,” explained the campaign. “Block chain plays the role of “electronic notary”: it confirms the reservation with the local provider directly and triggers the simplified payment process. After the booking is successfully completed, the digital currency is exchanged to the local provider’s currency at a favorable exchange rate. The traveler also receives an improved and broader selection of options for experiences and adventures.”Blockchain technology allows itravel to directly book and pay providers in the country of destination for the desired travel packages, which eliminates the high costs of bank and credit card servicing fees.Click To Tweet
This past fiscal year (April 2016-March 2017), itravel achieved a booking volume of €4.4 million. In the current financial year, itravel has already reached this figure after eight months. By March 2018, itravel plans to have a booking volume of at least €8 million, which corresponds to growth of 82%. For more financial details, click here.
Investments higher than 30€ receive some swag, including travel vouchers and “unforgettable” short trips. itravel’s Companisto campaign closes in 62 days, with the possibility of extending until 13 April 2018.
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