“The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page.”
- St. Augustine of Hippo, Philosopher
Travel and tourism industry is one of the largest industries in India. According to government statistics in 2017, the annual growth rate of domestic travelers in India stood at 17.2%.
Now a days many Indians travel with their families, young solo professionals are taking a greater number of vacations every year to places that are off-the-beaten-track. Booming IT industry and outsourcing industry has led to growing number of business trips made by foreigners to India, who often add a weekend break or longer holiday to their trip. Because of internet, they have access to all information so they want to have a perfect itinerary for their travel and they can compare prices online. From choosing destinations to connecting with locals and customising the holiday, the travel industry is looking to add a new dimension to the ever evolving travelling story.
Here is a list of travel startups in India which are making it feasible to travel for everyone:
Ithaka was launched as an in-destination experience booking website. Today Ithaka is a chat-based travel planning app, that covers destinations from Thailand, Bali, Europe, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia and Turkey. The Ithaka app is available for both Android and iOS.
Ithaka was started by Rahul Singh and Ameya Sahasrabudhe. Rahul and Ameya were friends from IIT Bombay. Both of them loved traveling and the inspiration to startup Ithaka came from their own travels.
While trying to sell activities and in-destination experiences to travelers on the ground, the Ithaka team noticed that there are many people who keep asking for travel advice. This made the team come up with the idea of a chat-based travel planning app.
Deepak Ananth and Vineet Rajan are the founders of ScoutMyTrip. ScoutMyTrip is a road trip planner which conflates human intelligence with artificial intelligence to help plan the perfect road trip for individuals. ScoutMyTrip works for all sorts of outings, from short weekend travels to long excursions.
With artificial intelligence, customers can create an itinerary containing the information necessary for their road trip—gas stations, toilets, restaurants, hotels to stay, and points of interest. The human intelligence aspect brings in the ability to personalize the information as per one's needs.
Founded by Vineet Budki, Nidhi Varma, Prashant Choudhary and Biswajeet Karmakar in 2014, Guiddoo is a Mumbai based travel startup. Guiddoo simply guides its users in all the aspects of travelling. From telling you the opening time of a particular destination to telling you about precaution of that place, it provides all information. With features such as audio-visual guide, information related to history and trivia and free concierge services, Guiddoo solves all in-destination travel needs. With its growing popularity among Globetrotters, Guiddoo aims to be a One-Stop Platform for travelers to discover and book great travel experiences during their international trip.
Founded by Hari Ganapathy & Srinath Shankar in 2014, Pickyoutrail is a Chennai based startup. Pickyourtrail helps travelers to plan their vacation easily. The platform uses deep-tech to let travelers create, customize and book international vacations. Pickyourtrail considers more than 40 factors like duration, travel time, ratings, etc to build personalized itineraries that travelers can further customize & book. After the trip is booked, travelers can use Pickyourtrail’s app to keep track of bookings and get real-time information on flight and weather updates, restaurant recommendations and on-trip chat support.
Also read: List of top Deep-Tech startups in India
Thrillophilia is a Bangalore-based startup founded in 2009 by Abhishek Daga that provides a plethora of handpicked adventure travel options for travelers where they can discover, compare and book from around 1000 suppliers. The travelers can also curate the best tours and authentic suppliers.
Thrillophilia provides you with a handpicked adventure travel options. It is best suited for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-track packages for sight-seeing, sports, and adventurous activities like water rafting, snorkeling, bungee jumping and skydiving. The startup has raised venture capital investment of $200,000 from various stake holders including iLabs Venture Capital Fund and Navlok Ventures among others.
goMowgli is a travel startup. Its name was inspired by the fictional character we all loved growing up –Mowgli from Jungle Book. It has a fleet of buses across different states (using the concept of “hop-off buses”) and the travelers can buy a pass for fixed number of days – a week or two. It is suitable for solo travelers and backpackers who want to travel without a fixed plan or do not want to get in trouble of booking cabs while travelling the city.
goMowgli will tell you the exact location of the nearest bus when you switch on the GPS feature on your smartphone. The app is growing in popularity very fast.
Cleartrip, headquartered in Mumbai, was founded by Stuart Crighton, Hrush Bhatt in year 2005. The company operates an online travel aggregator website for booking flights and train tickets, hotel reservations, and activities in India and the Middle East countries. It has offices across India, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Cleartrip also operates :
Cleartrip for Business, an online corporate travel management tool.
Agent Box, a travel tool for travel agents.
Cleartrip Mobile, a travel booking app for consumers.
Expressway, to let users store traveler profile and payment details securely to make one click bookings
Flexifly, a solution that enables flyers to change their travel date and time and switch flights between airlines without any hefty penalties
Cleartrip started its services to the Persian Gulf nations of Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt. In June 2016, the company raised an undisclosed amount of investment from Concur Technologies and Gund Investment Corp, among other investors. On June 21, 2018, Cleartrip announced the acquisition of Saudi Arabia-based online travel aggregator (OTA) Flyin.
Also Read : List of the best Healthcare Startups in India
Tripoto is a Delhi-based startup founded by Anirudh Gupta and Michael Lyngdoh that allows users to create itineraries for their future trips that they can also share with other travelers. They can share their travel experiences, related content and pictures, itineraries, maps, stories, and reviews.
The startup has one of the largest community of travelers in the world where people get a chance to share their travel experiences, discover unique trips and travel itineraries by other travelers and connect with other travelers around the world through the website. Tripoto’s aim is to become the largest source of crowd-sourced travel content platform in the world by enabling users to share their credible travel information.
OYO Rooms is a Gurgaon-based startup founded by 21-year-old Ritesh Agarwal and has become very popular recently. It is India’s largest hospitality company comprising of budget hotels. The startup works in liaison with existing hotels and offer travelers vacant rooms at a cheaper price. OYO Rooms start at a nominal price of Rs. 999. Besides bulk renting hotels, they have also invested in their own properties as well.
The users can also opt for OYO Premium which provides more-than-basic experience. OYO Rooms are located in the prime areas of the city and therefore they ensure travelers of having the best experience, it is also close to best sight-seeing destinations and various dining options. The startup also raised an investment of $90 million from Softbank earlier in 2016. In 2019, OYO raised $1.5 Billion in a Series F funding led by SoftBank Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia India.
ExTravelMoney is an online aggregator and marketplace for forex services that brings the hyperlocal ecommerce model to foreign exchange business and is helping users save money on currency exchange and money transfer from and to abroad. Users can use this platform to search for banks and money changers near them who offer these forex services. They can also compare the exchange the exchange rates and total cost of a forex service including the services fees, tax charges, even the rating of each forex store they are searching for.
The users can therefore make an informed decision based on this knowledge and book the cheapest and the best forex services near them directly from their app ExTravelMoney. If you are travelling in a foreign country, foreign exchange is an important component to plan. It isn’t easy to purchase forex due to the time and the hassle it takes in finding the best exchange rates. The website provides the travelers with forex dealers across the country to bring them the best available exchange rate in the market and all they need to do is login to their website, state their forex requirement and then it connects you to the nearest forex dealer.
Also Read : Top 10 new trends in Travel Business
Neaify is an app founded by Mayank Kumar, Saurav Singh and Vivek Srivastava in 2012 that provides users with updated information on events that are happening around them. Like information on the city, major tourist attractions, and fairs & festivals happening in the area. All the user needs to do is to key in the name of the city to find listings of meet-ups, workshops, music concerts and cultural hangout places in their close proximity.
It is best suited for travelers who want to know what’s happening in other locations of the place they are travelling to and wish to plan their itinerary and also don’t want to miss out on the social events happening in nearby city or locations.
TripHobo is a Pune-based startup that has an innovative new travel platform where the collective effort of their dedicated team of travel enthusiasts. They are trying to transform its users travel experience by making travel more sharable and personally tailored. The platform lets you connect with travel buddies around the world and hence make your experience even richer and memorable.
TripHobo is a vacation planning website which is also the world’s leading vacation planning platform on which you can plan trips to about 150,000 destinations worldwide. It lets users discover great itineraries created by travelers just like them.
iTraveller is Bengaluru-based startup founded by Shiju Radhakrishnan and Sanjay Kumar in 2011 which is an online travel platform for travelers to explore travel destinations, plan and book their trips in advance. It allows users to dynamically create self-serviced customized travel packages after receiving inquiries from clients.
The users can also compare reviews and plan their activities and sight-seeing for their trips, it also involves native wholesale suppliers who are responsible for the operational aspects of the business of your trip that includes ground handling and fulfillment. iTraveller has created more than 2 lakh trips featuring over 20 travel destinations across the globe and more than 60 native wholesale suppliers from across these destinations. The brand of iTraveller is now changed to Lastminute.
SeekSherpa was founded by Sukhmani Singh and Dhruv Raj Gupta in 2014. The mobile marketplace connects the travelers with the local people in the city you are travelling to. These people are called “Sherpas” and are chosen after a thorough background check and verified authenticity. They offer numerous itineraries, popularly known as “micro tours”, from sightseeing, photography tours, and heritage walks and food walks to explore a location from the eyes of a local guide – Sherpa.
Sherpas can be from any profession and list experiences that will cost you less than Rs. 3,000 per participant. This is a unique feature that SeekSherpa offers, it helps you in travelling better by interacting you with the residents of the place you are seeking to explore. This way, your trip is better, well experienced and more memorable.
Travelling is one of the most exciting and important part of our life. It teaches us a lot. These travel startups in India are helping us to make our journey better, safer and easier. If we have missed out any Travel startup in India, do let us know in the comments.