Peer-to-peer travel agency TRVL raises $2.7M to crowd-ify travel planning

Through Lyft and Uber, the sharing economy has taken a charge at cabs. Airbnb is making hotels palpitate in their pants. If TRVL has its way, its the travel agencies turn to tremble. Armed with 2.7 million freshly minted dollars from a conglomerate of angel investors, the company is hoping to augment services like Booking.com, Hotels.com and TripAdvisor by adding a soupon of crowd magic.

Amsterdam-based TRVL launched its product late last year, and has been busy working on improving its service and lobbying investors. The company today announced it has closed a 2.5 million ($2.7 million) round to fuel further product development and growth.

Today, when youre researching and planning a trip for yourself or the people you travel with, youre essentially doing the work of a travel agent, the companys CEO, Jochem Wijnands says. He is quick to highlight the biggest difference between you and a travel agent: You dont get rewarded for it.

TRVLs mobile-first design means you can plan your travel on the go. Which makes sense youre meant to be on holiday, and laptops dont belong on the beach!

Thats the part of the equation the company is planning to change. TRVL enables the power of the crowd to work as a travel agency. Making the booking earns the agent a commission of up to 10% on every booking made. The bookings themselves are done through more traditional booking sites such as Booking.com.

Think of TRVL as TripAdvisor with an earning model, Wijnands explains. We believe TRVL will change the way millions of people will book their trips online.

The company currently employs 12 people, including some heavy hitters in the industry. The companys COO isArthur Hoffman, whos best known for setting up businesses for Expedia in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and India. The companys CEO Jochem Wijnands sold his previous company to Apple, before it subsequently turned the platform into Apple News, now featured on one or two iPhones around the world.

Travel continues to be a fiercely competitive space, but its one thats been relatively untouched by the sharing economys grubby paws so far. Im looking forward to seeing how that changes and how TRVL is planning to sidestep regulatory challenges in the travel industry as the company continues to gain ground.

SOURCE: techcrunch.com

 

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/30/trvl-fits-2-7m-in-its-hand-luggage/