Aditya Gupta, Chairman at Quarizon and GEMS Advisory said, “The Indian travel customer today is more open to online offerings, than offline agents. While the Online Travel Agents (OTAs) are experts at handling individual products like flights, hotels etc, there is a dire need of an organised platform for discovery and comparison of complex package holidays, and on categories other than price. TripShelf is a unique step in the industry and we look forward to its growth by extending our support and strategic guidance to the team.”
Tripshelf was founded in March 2016 by Sukhmani Singh and the father-son duo of Jai Raj and Dhruv Raj Gupta. The platform allows customers to compare data from independent travel operators listed on the online marketplace under a single web screen and further, once selected, the customer is directed to the supplier’s website for bookings.
As per Jai, 80% of consumers shopping for travel online surf more than 15 websites before deciding. There is no standard to compare services making it a frustrating task. 50 million travellers have this pain in India, which thus makes this a billion dollar opportunity for anyone to cash upon.
TripShelf, through its aggregator model, has so far successfully executed leisure holidays for over 500 travelers. As claimed by the founders, there are more than 600 packages across 100 tour operators available for users to compare and buy on Tripshelf. Currently, the website has more than 10,000 traveller visits a day, generating more than 300 leads, with each lead going to individual operators only. It is also eyeing an opportunity among 5,500 registered (offline) travel operators who have served customers with excellent holidays, often with service and price better than OTAs.
“We have created a platform to aggregate the travel operators both offline and online and thereby provide a better planning experience for our users. We are extremely excited to have GEMS and Quarizon on our board, especially given their experience in the travel domain. We look forward to a strong mentorship from the Quarizon team and as an immediate next step, we would be launching a mobile app for our users.” said, CEO, Dhruv Raj Gupta.
The total Indian travel market accounts to $24 Bn of which 41% is online. Leisure travel is a $13.5 Bn market annually of which $5.6 Bn is for holiday packages, 98% of which is currently offline.
With a booming middle-class population, travel is among the top three spends, wherein 42% of the leisure travellers opt for tours planned by a tour operator. Also, it is expected to be in the list of top 6 sectors in domestic travel spending by 2016 and offers high margins on the supplier side.
Earlier in April 2016, the startup had raised $250K from GEMS group. Other similar portals in this space are TravelTriangle, Tripcrafters, and Tripfactory, etc.