Online holiday-packages marketplace Tripshelf has raised fresh funding of INR 1.6 crore from a group of professional investors, including GEMS Advisory (a micro VC); Alok Mittal of Indifi; Sachin Bhatia, Co-Founder of MakeMyTrip and Truly Madly; Anita Gupta, Global Equity Strategist; Singapore Angel Network; and Alka Puri, IIM-C Alumnus & Founder of Roads Ahead Consult; amongst other HNIs. This is a continuation of Tripshelf’s pre-series A Funding Round received from GEMS Advisory in mid-2016; the total amount raised by the startup now stands at INR 3.2 crore.
The latest round of funds will be used to deepen pillars of its business operations and establish a long- term asset vs. hyper growth capital. Within two years of its inception, Tripshelf has achieved an annual Gross Transaction Value (GTV) of INR 36 crore, and an annual revenue run rate of INR 1.5 crore. With the current funding, the startup aims to touch a revenue run rate of INR 3 crore annually, and a GTV of around INR 50 crore.
Speaking on the occasion, Dhruv Raj Gupta, Co-Founder, Tripshelf, said, “This is the second time we have raised funds in Pre-Series A round; it is a testimony to the immense faith several investors have shown in our start-up. The earlier funds we raised in 2016 were being used to establish unit economics’ profitability, and setup the talent pool. This time, with the fresh capital, we look forward to onboarding more tour operators in our platform, improve overall consumer experience, and also increase the products listed on the site, thereby helping our consumers with a comprehensive search experience.”
Sukhmani Singh, Co-Founder, Tripshelf, added, “As an aggregation-based start-up, we need to keep on driving value at both buyer and seller sides. Our current financing model allows us to test our hypothesis without the pressure of unmanaged growth, which many hyper-consumer startups have fallen prey to. By working with us, our tour operators have recently seen an increase in conversion rates, adopted technologies that enable better team management, and created a strong online brand. We put our foot where our mouth is and help SMBs with capital loans too.”
Tour operators can list their holiday packages on Tripshelf and travellers can discover, compare, and buy these packages from them. The company specialises in curating high-quality tour operators on the platform and providing a combination of budget and luxury holiday packages to popular destinations. The platform lets customers compare data listed on the online marketplace and once selected, the customer is directed to the supplier’s website for bookings.
Tripshelf’s USP is the machine learning tools adopted to make it easier and faster for tour operators to focus on the customers who are going to convert. The company markets their packages, provides them with high-quality leads, and through a single-window, real-time CRM, helps them manage those leads better. From customer data and call logs, to conversion predictability score and custom templates for quotes, Tripshelf’s suite of tools keeps operators ahead of the curve. Additionally, tour operators can also use the portal for launches and promotions.
Aditya Gupta, Managing Partner, GEMS Group, said, “Taking tour operators online is the new opportunity in the travel industry; it is a frontier that has neither been explored nor exploited. TripShelf, with their hybrid offering of both technology and potential customers for tour operators, is well-placed to become a leader in this vertical of the travel industry. We are excited about what the TripShelf team has already achieved since our last investment, and look forward to sustained growth in the months and years ahead.”
According to Bhatia, “I have known Sukhmani and Dhruv for a bit now and like the tenacity with which they approach any problem and create an opportunity out of it. This is a highly fragmented market and needs a mix of tech and good old operational skills to solve. This team has it in them to deliver on both.”
Currently, the website of Tripshelf promotes more than 750 tour operators and over 3,000 holiday packages, and can be deemed larger than its nearest competitors.