A Certify record states that globally, commercial enterprise tours’ common price is a whopping $117.6 billion annually. It is one of the largest prices that any organization seems to control. Enter Travelstop, an AI-powered SaaS platform geared toward simplifying business travel and fee management for corporates in Asia.
The expense control startup gives smooth-to-use tools that streamline the commercial enterprise journey reserving system while automating fee reporting and imparting meaningful insights. Travelstop offers three center product features: Travel, Expenses, and Insights, flawlessly integrated to provide an unbroken experience.
The Singapore-founded startup became based in 2016 by ex-Yahoo executives Prashant Kirtane, Vijay Aggarwal, and Altaf Dhamani. The trio had in 2014 based Travelmob, which was obtained through travel startup HomeAway, which changed into in flip obtained by way of Expedia in 2015.
Why startup once more?
TravelMob was a vacation rental marketplace focused on Asia. The co-founders had raised a seed spherical of $1 million from Jungle Ventures and Accel. After exiting the startup, they determined to build Travelstop late last yr. In April, the platform raised seed funding of $1.2 million from SeedPlus, with numerous travel industry veterans from Expedia and Yahoo.
On Wednesday, Travelstop raised $three million pre-Series A investment led by way of Accel Partners. The spherical additionally saw participation from Strive (formerly GREE Ventures) and existing investor SeedPlus. As part of this new spherical, Accel’s Prashanth Prakash may be becoming a member of the business enterprise’s Board of Directors. The team plans to use the brand new budget to spend money on the era and boost up the adoption of Travelstop throughout Asia.
“While at Travelmob and in all my previous roles, fee control turned into in the main a manual process, and the corporate travel gear we were the usage of had not developed for many years. The entire enjoyment, proper from dealing with commercial enterprise journey to costs, becomes extremely frustrating. We used to spend a super amount of time doing repetitive and administrative paintings,” Prashant says.
Business fashions of those conventional company travel control companies have now not developed for many years. They give enterprise owners no visibility on enterprise travel and fee spending. “So with our ardor for constructing easy and elegant merchandise, blended with our enjoy in Asia, we concept it changed into the right time to automate, modernize, and simplify the whole enjoy – from tour planning to cost reimbursements.
Using technology, we need to help employers keep prices low, permit a diploma of flexibility for business travel, and accumulate statistics and prices — all in a single, clean-to-use interface,” Prashant says. Travelstop has been constructed using a next-generation server-much less structure absolutely controlled in the cloud for computerized scaling. It makes use of continuous, supervised system learning to enhance the hints engine within the cloud.
What does it do?
The platform uses machine learning and AI-powered personalization to make flight and motel guidelines, allowing travelers to book within mins. “We analyze from indicators like frequently booked flights and lodges in an organization, distance from workplace or event vicinity, reviews, and personal alternatives,” Prashant says.
It also gives capabilities like ‘Book for Others’, allowing journey managers to be more productive, and invoice billing, permitting companies to pay a single bill for their travel bookings. The platform additionally lets employers pre-approve a budget for a business journey; with this, employees have greater autonomy and versatility to e-book trips primarily based on their alternatives (for example: fly low-fee service, however, stay in a 5-star inn).
“Employers can also set up an incorporated travel policy if they need extra management. Flight or motel reservations that are not in step with the policy are flagged to enhance compliance,” Prashant provides. The platform also offers incorporated equipment to make fee reporting a breeze. Travelstop works with any sort of enterprise prices (no longer simply tour-related). It also permits streamlined approval workflows and automatic facts flow into their accounting software, decreasing errors and boosting productivity.
Travelstop’s information-pushed insights can help lessen fees and expenditures. They allow reviewing expenses by using agency, department, crew, or at an individual stage, to make better choices for cost financial savings. It most effective costs for every energetic person, making it a lower-priced choice.
The cost control area
“Broadly, we’re targeted at simplifying business travel and rate management for excessive-boom companies in Asia. The region is the biggest business journey market globally, comprising 40 percent of global commercial enterprise travel. By 2025, business travel spending in Asia will more than double and makeup 1/2 of the global general. More than 80 percent of all commercial enterprise travel in Asia is unmanaged, and we are targeted on handing over the high-quality-in-elegance client revel in for a business tour and expense management for corporates in Asia,” Prashant says.
Currently, at their pre-revenue level, Prashant says they do no longer charge any transaction or reserving expenses for any of the reserving transactions on-platform. They plan to have an easy, smooth-to-understand, and affordable SaaS rate in step with the lively consumer in line with the month.
Business price management is a fast-developing section inside the journey and fintech circuits. Currently, Delhi-based happy, founded in 2012, is operating inside the space. It aims to make price management cashless, paperless, and cellular-pleasant by simplifying the entire cost control workflow, from the recording of prices to accounting. There also is Fyle, an automatic cost management solution for businesses and people. It was released in 2016 and has elevated its footprint to the United States, Netherlands, and Singapore.
But Travelstop believes its platform stands aside. It has partnered with Traveloka, a main travel technology organization in Southeast Asia, to supply the most substantial inventory of flights and resorts to enterprise travelers in Asia. The partnership is expected to roll out in the following couple of months, alongside other middle capabilities together with 24×7 travel disruption management and hassle-unfastened journey coverage. These additions are predicted to permit Travelstop to goal larger businesses in the location.
Speaking on the funding, Prashanth Prakash, Partner at Accel, says, “Travelstop is constructing a regionally applicable answer for the millennial generation of commercial enterprise visitors. In less than a yr, they’ve constructed a strong, class-defining business and launched a international-elegance product that has been followed using a developing number of corporations and their employees. We are excited to join Travelstop on their task to form the destiny of commercial enterprise travel.”