Featured Startup Pitch: Mumbai-based 36hrs.in wants to make it easier for travelers to create customized itineraries
Elevator Pitch: 36hrs is a platform to collect, categorize, collaborate on and share awesome spots and itineraries in different cities around the world. We enable people to create the perfect travel plan within minutes.
Users can search through travel boards and itineraries contributed by different members, based on their interests, to find spots that they like. They can follow their friends or various tastemakers—experts, travel writers, food bloggers, etc., people who know the city well and bring interesting perspectives, or share or collaborate on the perfect collection or itinerary with other users in their network.
In 2013, co-founder Ravi was planning a three-day trip with his girlfriend to Singapore from Mumbai. He really wanted to find the ‘hidden gems’ (i.e., the not-so-touristy spots) in the city, and ended up spending more time researching and planning the trip than actually on the trip. This is when the idea first struck him to develop a platform which could make the process of sharing recommendations as easy as few clicks, and remove the hassle of reading through emails or long articles and manually gather information.
We’re constantly adding useful and engaging content, including 40-plus itineraries written up by professional travel writers in 16-plus cities, to attract travelers to the site. We’re also getting bloggers and tastemakers on board, as they’re finding it to be a useful platform to showcase their recommendations. Finally, we’re investing in digital marketing and social media engagement.
We’re targeting tech savvy travelers as well as people who wish to discover and explore their own cities. A recent survey by Red Rocket Media indicated that 63 percent of people are influenced by online testimonials, and more than one-third of people would create travel-related content if it would benefit their friends or family. Further, more-and-more people seek to book their travel-related activities online—the travel activity booking market is over $100 billion in size, growing at nine percent annually.
How the Company Differentiates Itself From the Competition
Our site makes trip planning easy, efficient and social. The average traveler wastes a lot of time consulting different sources for travel information. The advice travelers value the most is from people in their network, but it is also shared in a form which is hardest to organize. We are enabling users to get interesting recommendations from people they can trust—their own networks—as well as the tastemakers who have interesting insights of things to do in their cities, all in one place. We’re also catering to a very wide variety of people, thus ensuring that there is something for everyone with different interests and different budgets.
The core offering is free for users. We plan to incorporate native advertising in the form of ‘promoted spots,’ as well as affiliate revenue from bookings generated from our platform.
We will be looking to raise between $300-$500K in the next six months to expand our product offering, in particular the development of our mobile app, which will help us move creating and interacting with itineraries and collecting favorite spots on boards and itineraries to a more real-time experience.
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Investors: Start-Up Chile
Incubator/Accelerator: Start-Up Chile
Year Founded: 2013