With the motive to deliver an independent, holistic and rewarding experience, two entrepreneurs viz Ameya Sahasrabudhe and Rahul Singh started a travel platform Ithaka. It aspires to be a free personal travel assistant that enables travellers to explore the beauty of Thailand and provides the best advice in real time with the help of the local experts.This startup is gradually gaining more prominence in the travel industry and can be the next big influencer in the times to come.
Last week we had a conversation with Ithaka’s co-founder Ameya Sahasrabudhe who shared the vision for his travel startup. Here is Ameya’s Ithaka pitch for our readers.
Who are we?
We are compulsive travellers and graduates of IIT Bombay, out to help everyone experience the joy of independent travel. Ameya, the CEO, is the energetic, walk-into-any-challenge leader, always on the lookout for new opportunities and partnerships to grow Ithaka. Rahul, the CPO, is the calm, unassuming force that powers our product, and his relentless pursuit of good UX drives most of our processes. Apart from the founders, we have an amazing team of four persons that pours its heart into solving the problem of every traveller.
How did it all begin and how we thought of Ithaka?
Rahul and I have been avid travellers and best friends since college, so it was sort of natural that we ended up launching Ithaka together. We were brainstorming ways to make travel simpler, and we realised that every decision in travel (deciding a destination, finding good flights/ hotels, activities to do and so on) boils down to one thing only – verified, actionable information. So we decided to go ahead and launch an on-demand service to help people plan/ execute their trips. The name Ithaka comes from a very inspiring poem we read about chasing your dreams. I must warn you, it might have a very deep impact on you
Who are the users of Ithaka?
At the moment, we only serve Thailand as a destination, and our users are split into 2 groups:
1) The travellers planning a trip to Thailand
2) The travellers already in Thailand and looking for expert advice
We have a large number of Indian users, and the rest of our travellers come from over 30 countries across the world.
What is our early traction?
We launched our android app about 2 months ago and iOS a month ago. We have helped over 500 travellers with their trips to Thailand. We’ve covered bachelor trips, honeymoons, family holidays, solo backpacking and friends reunions! We’ve noticed that our users are closely connected to us from the first contact (planning) to the very end of their trip. This is a very encouraging sign for us, as deep engagement is a good indicator of having a product that your users really want.
How are we different from other travel guide assistance apps?
To put it simply, most other travel guide apps out there are a big, expansive buffet, and all these options can get very confusing for someone travelling to a new destination.
Ithaka is an exclusive à la carte service, where we bring you verified, updated travel information and expertise on-demand, through a friendly chat interface. You save time, effort and get a superb plan, stays and experiences all crafted around your exact likes and preferences. For free! I must reiterate here that we do NOT sell package tours. We help you plan an amazing trip for yourself, and are always one chat away from anything you need in-destination.
What are our future plans?
The Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam – Laos loop is one of the most travelled trails in the world. We keep getting requests from travellers in these countries, and it feels terrible to not be able to help them.
We are currently razor-focused on providing a world class experience for Thailand. We are close, but there are a couple of things remaining to be worked out. Very soon, we will begin work on expanding to the remaining countries, and hope to close off the famed South East Asian loop by the end of 2016.
If you haven’t used the app, download it now on Google Play Store and iOS Store before embarking on your Thailand trip. Try it out and let us know what is your opinion about it.