Launchtrip | September 30, 2021
Launchtrip the world's first Together-Travel company, today releases its group-centric travel booking app. Available on iOS now, Launchtrip removes the roadblocks historically associated with group-travel by allowing users to plan and book travel based on destination city or event, and the ability to divide costs and pay separately, taking the awkwardness out of invites and chasing down money - all within the native platform's ecosystem.
Launchtrip is the first application to address a longstanding challenge for consumers and the hospitality industry: the need to facilitate group bookings in one application including payment processing and soon, with an industry first: fair and transparent pricing. From today, users will be able to:
Search by city or event to book accommodation and restaurants close to major sports, music, and entertainment events across the country, with more events being added regularly
Book hotel accommodations from a curated selection of 3 - 5 star properties across the country. From independent boutique hotels to 5-star luxury properties and everything in between, Launchtrip offers thousands of hotels across 8 major US cities to start (including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Austin, Phoenix and Las Vegas), with more becoming available every month
Review thousands of highly recommended restaurants and book right in the app using Resy as Launchtrip's official restaurant booking partner
Split and manage payments of your group trips (available for group trips of 3 or more people)
Receive scaling group discounts with partnered hotels
Take advantage of Launchtrip's signature 24/7 concierge service - online and with text-driven customer support, powered by humans
Ground transportation and travel insurance will be available by the end of the year
Google Play store availability will launch in Winter 2021
Customers will also benefit from Launchtrip's 'My Trip' feature, where users can manage all of their group reservations and guest list, meaning they won't be stuck with reservation emails from multiple vendors. Within this feature, users can name their trip, check the trip's guest list and whether they've paid or not, and send reminders to anyone who hasn't yet paid.
Launchtrip recently surveyed 1,000 US adults to find that for 25% of Americans, dealing with payment is the most painful part of planning any group trip. A third (34%) of respondents even said they spend hours figuring out how to split costs. To reward these Group Trip 'Heroes' who've had to deal with organizing woes for far too long, Launchtrip is giving away an all-expenses paid vacation (including accomodation at select luxury hotel properties across the country) to one lucky 'Hero' plus three friends.
Launchtrip CEO and Founder Julian Ing is dedicated to providing a better travel experience for groups a category that he believes has experienced little innovation in nearly 25 years.
"Launchtrip is a new kind of travel booking company and one that we believe will transform the travel and hospitality space. From group travel to complete transparency for consumers and partners, we are committed to creating the best experience possible for our users and are thrilled to open to the public today."
SaidJulian Ing,Launchtrip CEO and Founder
Looking ahead, Launchtrip will roll out additional features dedicated to creating a seamless travel experience, including curated trip recommendations, an AI-driven rewards system and more
Launchtrip is the Together-Travel company that makes booking group trips easy and rewarding. Founded by entrepreneur Julian Ing, Launchtrip's ethos is to make every experience outstanding, from end to end. Launchtrip's team of advisors include some of the industry's top experts with previous leadership roles within HomeAway (Expedia), MealPal and Tripping.com to name a few. This includes Traci Mercer, Taleeb Noormohamed, Michael Drever, Kathleen Reaume, Terry McBride and Mark Spencer.
Elude | August 09, 2021
Elude, the travel discovery and booking service that is reinventing the vacation experience for all, launched its mobile app today. Elude is the first solution of its kind catering directly to the new traveler who seeks to escape the ordinary by exploring destinations they can afford but might not have known previously existed.
By disrupting the traditional and inefficient travel booking model, Elude is the only booking platform answering the question -- Where can I travel for 500 dollars? Elude’s key feature is a budget-first search engine that provides users immediate access to global flights, leaving from the nearest airport, and accommodations within their selected price range. The platform’s personalized onboarding experience customizes trip packages and curates future travel suggestions based on customer’s preferences. Elude is also bringing rewards and credits to travel booking. Whether travelers are looking for a last-minute getaway or an extended stay, Elude is opening access to global destinations, all in line with the customer’s budget.
“Shopping for travel is broken, and we are modernizing an archaic system by supercharging the way people plan their vacations,” said Alex Simon, Chief Executive Officer. “People deserve to feel emboldened to explore, and we want our users to have access to the transformative power of travel more often.”
Elude was brought to life by avid travelers, Simon and Frankie Scerbo, who craved to travel the globe during college, only to realize all the trips they researched were too expensive. Built from their personal pain points, Elude is granting access to global destinations that travelers can afford to explore. The co-founders closed their initial investments while traveling abroad, raising 2.1 million in funding.
Mucker Capital, Unicorn Ventures, Upfront Scout Fund, StartupO, Grayson Capital and Flight VC have invested in Elude. Elude has also attracted industry veteran advisors, including global entrepreneur from Priceline.com Jeff Hoffman, former Airmap CEO Ben Marcus and prominent social media industry leaders such as former Instagram Chief Marketing Officer, Cliff Hopkins, and Snapchat’s Head of International Partnerships, Juan David Borrero.
“As an active investor and advisor in the travel industry, I have seen numerous ideas and attempts to reframe the travel booking process, and none of them grabbed my attention the way Elude did,” Hoffman added. “Elude reflects the way many travelers prefer to travel, and yet no one has been able to capture that until now. Frankie and Alex are constantly exploring the pain points travelers face as they create and reimagine the future of the industry. From the beginning, they presented a practical and methodical approach for building a product that will make travelers’ lives easier.”
With millennials spending over $200B annually on travel, younger generations are constantly on the move. Simon and Scerbo’s experience growing Elude led to the realization that their users are more interested in making their money last longer. They want multiple trips throughout the year instead of spending large amounts of their disposable income on just one trip each year.
“Our users are craving to explore the world differently. Instead of planning trips to landmark locations, our users are searching for quiet treasures that offer refuge from the hustle of city life,” said Scerbo, “We’re thrilled to lead the industry into its next chapter, rebuilding an ecosystem of adventurers that was disjointed during the pandemic.”
Elude is perfectly catered to the next generation of travelers, who are eager to share experiences with a greater global community. Today, 97% of vacationers will share vacation posts on social media, and travel creators enable consumers to uncover newfound destinations from their living room. Yet, people are still spending hundreds of hours scrolling to prepare for a trip instead of actively booking vacations. In a feverish time for travel, people are craving adventure, and Elude is imploring everyone to wander more and worry less.
Elude is the only travel discovery and booking platform that allows anyone to plan trips in line with their budget -- instead of location or price. Elude’s key feature is a spontaneous budget-first travel search engine that offers access to global flights and accommodations. Elude’s fully customizable onboarding experience offers curated trip packages and future trip suggestions based on customers’ preferences and interests. By disrupting the traditional travel booking model, Elude is building a community of explorers, allowing anyone to experience the transformative powers of travel more often.
The Wall Street Journal | December 06, 2018
Booking companies and hoteliers are trying to sell travelers more online than just a place to stay, an airline ticket or a car rental. These web-based firms also want customers to purchase experiences such as parasailing excursions, food tours, and aquarium adventures. The amount spent by travelers on tours, attractions, events, and activities while traveling has swelled 21% since 2014 to $159 billion, and companies like TripAdvisor Inc., TRIP +0.66%Expedia EXPE +0.35% Group Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc. BKNG +0.76% is trying to get customers to buy more of them online.
Currently, about 80% of experiences are booked offline through walk-ups, phone, traditional travel agencies, and hotel concierges, according to travel-research company Phocuswright.