Thrillophilia, the online travel curation startup, has raised a round of $200,000 from Hyderabad Angels, iLabs Venture Capital Fund, Navlok Ventures and Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (IIM A).
Founded in April 2009, Thrillophilia offers quality services in facilitating unconventional and experiential activities. The online portal, Thrillophilia.com was launched in August 2009 and the company has grown at an average rate of 200 percent per year. Thrillophilia curates and plans adventure and activity trips for corporate houses, international travelers and individuals throughout the country.
With more than 400 activity-based tours and 1,000 off-beat travel experiences on the portal, Thrillophilia.com, is at the forefront of developing a niche activity segment in the travel industry. In the last 3 years, the company has served more than 50,000 travelers and 500+ corporate clients. Headquartered in Bangalore, the company has its presence in 72 cities and has alliances with 450 regional service providers.
Pradeep Mittal, the lead investor in this deal, said that the ‘activity-travel’ segment is the third largest segment in the travel industry after hotel and air travel. He further added that not only individuals but also organisations are looking forward to exploring outdoor learning experiences merging fun and leisure with corporate learning.
Recently, Thrillophilia.com started focussing on providing short-duration experiences and things to do across different destinations. This segment is gaining immense popularity within the travel and tourism spectrum. Co-founder of Thrillophilia.com, Abhishek Daga, said, “Our primary target is to include 6,000 experiences by December and serve one lakh experience hours a month towards the last quarter of 2014. Our main USP lies in our strong outdoor team which does detailed ground-level research on the local vendors and travels across destinations to curate and verify experiences.”
He further added that the biggest challenge today lies in real time inventory management because most of the regional vendors are not connected to the system at all times. However with the platform being released phase by phase, the company would address such issues and make the entire system infallible by 2014.
Raghu Bathina from Hyderabad Angels said, “Thrillophilia.com currently caters to more than 2,200 customers a month and has grown 200 per cent year after year. The market trend is changing from regular sight-seeing travel to activity-based and experiential tours. People prefer to have a regional touch in their holidays while experiencing the culture closely and interacting with the locals. Thrillophilia curates such off-beat experiences for its travelers and provides these not only at a phenomenal quality but also with an assured customer support.”
Chitra Gurnani Daga, Co-founder and CEO of Thrillophilia, added, “With this platform, we are providing a huge inventory of experiences and activities to travelers. The user is no longer restricted to booking long tours and planned itineraries and instead he/she can opt for short experiences such as a one-hour elephant ride, a night camp in a forest, a royal dinner at a palace or a micro light flight tour. In India, there aren’t many travel portals that solve the problem of booking activities and local
experiences in real time for travelers. Moreover, the trend of using an online portal to book such experiences is still in its nascent stages. A lot of our corporate customers who have been the initial adopters have loved these short experiences and we are confident that the trend would take shape, thereby, revolutionizing the activity travel industry in the country.”
Thrillophilia has been recognised by Manthan South East Asia Awards for contributing digitally to the e-Travel and Tourism industry. Chitra Gurnani Daga, Co-founder and CEO of Thrillophilia, was selected as the speaker from India on the panel discussion for eco-tourism at APECO Malaysia held last year. Young Turks on CNBC and Going Solo on CNN IBN are two TV shows that presented the entrepreneurs and their story. In 2012, Thrillophilia also won the ‘Power of Ideas’ at IIM-Ahmedabad and the BizQuest held jointly by TIE and ISB.