ScoutMyTrip - Scouting Amazing and Memorable Road Trips

Road trips have a different charm altogether. From stopping by to click photos to trying the local food on the way and endless chit –chats, what can be more enriching? The experience gets even better and hassle-free when we get proper guidance on what to see on the way, or where to refuel the car or where the nearest viewpoint is, etc. ScoutMyTrip, a Mumbai based startup is doing exactly this for you. This startup plans all the nitty-gritty of your road trip, so that you enjoy a memorable trip.

Startup Name ScoutMyTrip
HeadQuarter Mumbai
Founders Deepak Ananth & Vineet Rajan
Sector Travel & Tourism
Founded 2016
Parent Organization ScoutMyTrip Private Limited

About ScoutMyTrip
Road Tripping Industry Details
ScoutMyTrip Founders, CEO and Team
How was ScoutMyTrip Started
ScoutMyTrip - Name and Logo
What is ScoutMyTrip
ScoutMyTrip - Revenue Model
ScoutMyTrip - Funding and Investors
ScoutMyTrip - User Acquisition
ScoutMyTrip - Startup Challenges
ScoutMyTrip - Competitors
ScoutMyTrip - Advisors and Mentors
ScoutMyTrip - Awards
ScoutMyTrip - Future Plans

About ScoutMyTrip

ScoutMyTrip is a road trip planner which brings human intelligence along with artificial intelligence to plan perfect and memorable road trips. ScoutMyTrip plans all sort of road trips from short weekend road trips to long format road trips.

With the artificial intelligence, customers can create an itinerary that has all the information one would need before a road trip - gas stations, toilets, restaurants, hotels to stay and points of interests before starting the road trip. With human intelligence, one brings in a level of personalization which is unmatched.

ScoutMyTrip envisions to make road trips the preferred means to enjoy a vacation.  

An industry first product has been introduced where a Scout (travel expert for the specific region) is virtually assisting the customer throughout the entire journey (before and during the trip). Scouts, who give you the regional flavor and make one's holiday even more enjoyable. We call this - Mark and Embark! Our team is hard at work in building great tech and striving for customer delight each time.

Road-tripping Industry Details

As far as the market goes, the road-tripping industry is a subset of a much larger travel domain.  

“Our total addressable market is pegged at $6.6B with 33 million leisure road trips in one calendar year. This is growing at a very fast rate and we expect it to double in 3 years time. Globally, this market stands at $100B which is really what we are after; but we want to establish ourselves well in the subcontinent which is why we have started operations in Nepal and Bhutan as well” says Vineet.

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ScoutMyTrip - Founders, CEO & Team

Deepak Ananth and Vineet Rajan are the founders of ScoutMyTrip.

Deepak Ananth is the CEO of ScoutMyTrip. He graduated in Electronics and had been in the corporate space for all of his working life with the last assignment being with Verifone as a Director for South East Asia.

Vineet Rajan is the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of ScoutMyTrip. Vineet is a computer science graduate and an MBA. Vineet has worked with many start-ups durng his career.

Deepak and Vineet met each other during an individual road tripping; when they were part of some of the active biking clubs. Both came together to hold office positions in one of the most sought after Royal Enfield groups too. This gave them a chance to work together, albeit in a non-professional capacity. They wanted to do something in the field of road tripping, which is their passion and started thinking about business ideas related to road trips since 2015.

In terms of work division, Deepak looks after the overall strategy and public relations. Vineet looks after marketing and sales.  Other core members of the team are Neeraj (CTO) who manages everything to do with bits and bytes.  Soumen Bhowmick is the head of the business.  

In 2015, we had started talking about putting our collective experience of road tripping so many kilometers into a tech product which can help other travelers. So a ‘road trip’ called ScoutMyTrip began!   Building a work drives us – and that is the common area of interest for us. Our team sticks with us; because of the independence we give them in their working style. We measure results; and not the means.  
Deepak Ananth & Vineet Rajan, ScoutMyTrip Founders

How was ScoutMyTrip Started

Deepak and Vineet both are road trip lovers who did extensive road travelling. It is this love for road trips that inspired them to start ScoutMyTrip, with a view to guiding road-trippers so that they can get the most out of the trips.

We picked this idea because both of us love road trips. Having road tripped on the iconic Royal Enfield bikes in India with over 600,000 kilometers between us; we decided to build a solution that will help people road trip better. Because not everyone will have the knowledge of roads as we would do.

While the use of mapping has traditionally been for navigational use. ScoutMyTrip is building a new category with road trip planning. The ideation process for ScoutMyTrip started back in late 2015. Deepak and Vineet both wanted a change and wanted to convert their collective love for travelling into a business.  The founders had experience of working together earlier as well, as they held office positions in one of the most active Royal Enfield Clubs in India.

ScoutMyTrip has been designed after taking opinions from many road-trippers and scouts to make the product more customer-centric. The product features have been created by talking to more than 500 fellow travelers and Scouts. The ScoutMyTrip  team carried out a survey with over 1000 travelers, (mostly from a non-road trip background)  which showed that there is a huge need for advice and support before and during a road trip because of various factors and elements in the decision-making process. The team also talked to members of various travel communities in India. The deep involvement with these travel communities has been pivotal in bringing on board scouts or travel experts who are helping others.

Some of the first people we spoke to about ScoutMyTrip were all kicked. From investors, the biking community, travel forums and everyone around. We did, however, get a sense that we would have to establish ourselves very quickly; and hence we started seed funded the company in 2016.

After considering many names, the name ScoutMyTrip was decided, focusing on the important part that scouts plays in the company.

The Logo symbolizes an inverted magnifying glass. It also signifies a bird pecking when seen straight (birds symbolize freedom). The road in the center is about scouting the roads. The three colors represent the brand - community, safety and fun.

A lot of thought has gone into the logo. A good friend Kirtee understood our requirements and came up with that effective logo. We still sometimes joke about how much we troubled her for the logo but wherever we go, we get great feedback on the logo and that is always music to the ears of any founder.
ScoutMyTrip Logo

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What is ScoutMyTrip

ScoutMyTrip is a freemium product. A customer can sign up for free on the website and can plan their road trips using the planner for a lifetime. The planner allows the user to add 25-way points (Google allows you just 10) to add on your route. It gives suggestions for places to stay, eat at, gas stations, things to do, all under one platform.

Customers can choose to pay a premium, in case they would like assistance with planning their road trip which is when they hire Scouts who not just help in building itineraries but also provide virtual assistance throughout the road trip.

ScoutMyTrip from the beginning has followed a very community-centric approach. Be it a community of travelers or that of Scouts. It's always about the people with technology which revolves around it. Scouts are the key differentiator for us. We're a marketplace of travel experts who curate the best on the road experiences.

ScoutMyTrip has partnered with travel experts and individuals from different parts of India. These experts offer virtual assistance to fellow travelers throughout their road trip. They even know the local haunts, have adequate knowledge about the place of visit and hence they’re the best people to reach out to for a very well-planned road trip!  ScoutMyTrip has reach all over India and also services Indian travelers to Nepal and Bhutan.

The company has pivoted quite a few times – from being just another travel agency to doing marketing campaigns for travel brands to now fully focusing on helping people plan better road trips.

Itinerary Created by ScoutMyTrip

ScoutMyTrip - Revenue Model

ScoutMyTrip has a well-planned revenue model and earns revenue from the following sources.

  • Hiring a Scout - When traveler contacts an expert (Scout) and ScoutMyTrip earns a percentage of the planning fee. The rates vary from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 9000 and can go up to Rs. 50,000 for custom trips and itineraries. Scouts are virtually part of the traveler’s journey and assist and make the road trip better with ideas, inputs and connect.
  • Platform integrations - The planner can be integrated into other travel websites for wholesome user experience.
  • Corporate Tie-Ups and Group Tours - ScoutMyTrip has been successfully doing this for a year and a half and has organized over 500 group road trips for individuals and corporate houses.
  • Road Trip Packages- Once trips are planned, the ScoutMyTrip Experience team bundles the following as part bespoke packages:
  1. Hotel bookings
  2. Self-drive cars and taxis
  3. Guides
  4. Roadside assistance / Insurance  

ScoutMyTrip - Funding and Investors

ScoutMyTrip raised seed funding from Z Nation Lab in April 2017.

Funding Date Funding Stage Funding Amount Investors
April 2017 Angel Round Undisclosed Z Nation Lab

ScoutMyTrip - User Acquisition

ScoutMyTrip was launched as insider access or closed beta in October 2016. It got its first 5000 signups in one month and there’s been no looking back ever since. ScoutMyTrip had incidentally launched its blog much before the website came into existence. This allowed the company to build communication with the target customers. Through the blogs, the team was able to talk about themselves and vision for the product with an eagerly awaiting consumer set.

Content marketing has been a success story for ScoutMyTrip. The company has approximately 90 % of its users coming through social media platforms powered by the social media influencers that are already a part of the ScoutMyTrip community. Word of mouth also has been a good success story for ScoutMyTrip with around 10% users acquisition from this stream.

While for ScoutMyTrip, most of the money spend in the marketing space are on Facebook and Instagram advertising, a lot more time is spent on SEO and building great content which markets itself.

ScoutMyTrip takes pride in being a content-driven brand and has taken ownership of three intellectual properties to keep in touch with its focus group- the travel enthusiasts.

  • The Great Indian Food Trip - The Great Indian Food Trip is an exploratory drive and property by ScoutMyTrip into the hinterlands of India rediscovering some of the most iconic and even lost treasures of Indian cuisine and food.
  • The Highest Blogger Meet: The idea here is to take influential bloggers from different walks of life to the highest motorable roads in the world. On those roads and places, ScoutMyTrip hosts a blogger meet – setting a record each time. The last successful attempt was at Khardung La in partnership with OYO Rooms.
  • #AageSeRight - This is a viral sensation on Instagram where this has become a common word amongst road trippers. Commonly used as a response when asking for directions, they were able to create brand recall.  

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ScoutMyTrip - Startup Challenges

Both Deepak and Vineet belong to middle-class Indian families. Deepak had been working in corporate roles for over 20 years before ScoutMyTrip and at senior roles in reputed companies. Vineet has been a startup guy all through but was a part of an established startup. As such starting up on their own was the greatest challenge, as said by Vineet.

The doubts of whether such a platform would be accepted and confusions regarding whether they were going about in the right manner plagued the founders in the initial phase.  

Our families were very supportive. Parents who heard us out asked the right questions and then wholeheartedly supported us, spouses who stood by us, ready to fight the same battles along with us, helped to make our minds up, much easier.    

ScoutMyTrip - Competitors

As Vineet says, the biggest competitors are the airlines and railways which make up over 80% of all travel spends in India. also, Google Maps; which is most suited for providing with routes is a competition.

Looking at organizations, globally some competitors of ScoutMyTrip are Road Trippers and Furkot which are slowly increasing their footprint in India. In India, easy roads & highway delite are some of the competitors of ScoutMyTrip. However, the highly experienced scouts associated with ScoutMyTrip are its USP.

We are different in terms of us being a very community driven space where our Scouts are the USP to ScoutMyTrip. We encourage road trips for everyone and plan it keeping in mind the likes of our customers.

ScoutMyTrip - Advisors and Mentors

ScoutMyTrip’s investors – Z Nation Labs is also its primary mentor.

We get great support, industry connects and advice from the leadership team of Z Nation labs which includes Amit Jain, Anup Mehta and Neha Jain.  

After being incubated by NASSCOM’s 10,000 Startups initiative and the Maharashtra State Innovation Society, ScoutMyTrip is getting regular support from their team as well.

ScoutMyTrip - Awards

ScoutMyTrip has had its fair share of recognition coming its way including the recent incubation by NASSCOM's 10,000 startups initiative. Some Awards and Recognitions received by ScoutMyTrip in 2019 are-

  • April 2019: Part of NASSCOM's 10,000 startups incubation cohort
  • March 2019: Recognized by Startup India / DIPP
  • February 2019: Winners of the Maharashtra Startup Week by the Govt. of Maharashtra  
  • January 2019: Entrepreneur India listed us as the top 50 startups to watch out for in 2019.  

Earlier milestones include being chosen as top 20 travel tech startups by FICCI in 2017, Top 10 startups in India (Silicon India) and many more.

ScoutMyTrip - Future Plans

ScoutMyTrip has received a good response from the traveler community has partnered with reputed brands. Over the last two years, ScoutMyTrip has been aggressively improving its Scout and agent network to service the ever-increasing customer requirements. The company’s business partners include Treebo Hotels, OYO, Agoda, Booking.com, MyChoize self-drive cars, Mahindra & Mahindra, Honda Cars India and many more.

Over the next 1-2 years, ScoutMytrip is looking at consolidating the Indian market; where there is a churn in the making as believed and observed by the ScoutMyTrip team.

As a long term vision, ScoutMyTrip also aspires to be present in every aspect of a road trip. This is what the ScoutMyTrip team calls ‘Dashboard to Dhabha’; where the idea is to integrate ScoutMyTrip into cars which does all the work for the car owner by making a road trip great. What goes into doing this is showing recommendations of road trippers; real and live assistance from Scouts all over the country, detours to explore the countryside and make the most of the journey amongst many other things. This will also give ScoutMyTrip up to date and real-time information which will then further help other road travelers.

It is hard to navigate through the maze and there is a long way before we as a country make it simpler for startups. And advice is not easy to come by, we had to learn a lot of it ourselves- Vineet Rajan
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About Chayanika Goswami

Chayanika is an MBA in Finance and a trained Digital Marketer. SEO and content writing are her hobbies turned profession. She is a rover. In her free time she loves travelling and cracking jokes.