29 May 2018, Hong Kong – Hong Kong-based travel tech startup Trip Guru has just closed its seed round after raising US$500,000 from a total of eight (8) investors. The latter range from angel funders and family offices to venture capitals and publicly listed companies on the The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK). The startup was able to significantly raise its profile after graduating from the Betatron startup accelerator programme last January.
Trip Guru’s co-founders Sebastian Renzacci and Francesco Piccolo plan to inject the new funding into Market Expansion. The goal is to achieve regional scale in their primary market, Southeast Asia, in the first semester of 2018. Aside from cementing its presence in seven (7) countries and sixteen (16) destinations in the said region, Trip Guru also plans to open tours in new Asian markets including China, India, Nepal and Myanmar.
In addition, Trip Guru will also channel the new funds into the launch of its Progressive Web App (PWA), targeted for the third quarter (Q3) of 2018. The startup plans to transition its current mobile platform into PWA, which delivers an app-like experience to users from their browsers, without them having to download a native app from Google Play / Apple Store.
In line with its expansion plans, Trip Guru will also be growing its team this year. The startup is looking to onboard passionate and tech-savvy talents in marketing, tech and business development for its Hong Kong office.
V Moxie Capital investor Marston Lai said: “Trip Guru caught our attention with their business model that taps into the massive market potential of the online travel booking industry. The founders have the creativity and grit to launch highly differentiated products serving their high potential target consumers. I’m excited to see Trip Guru gaining traction and its customers talking about how much they’ve enjoyed the experiences. I think the venture is redefining quality travel on its own terms. ”
Betatron Startup Accelerator Co-Founder and Partner said: “At Betatron we invest in exceptional founders who execute and show commitment to their mission in tackling big markets. We first met Trip Guru founders Sebastian and Francesco when they applied for Cohort 1 in early 2017, before they launched their product. By the time they applied for Cohort 2 in August 2017, they had a great product and successful launch in Bali while growing month on month. The progress they demonstrated in six months impressed us with their ability to execute and signs of early product/market fit. Although the travel industry is a massive and competitive market segment, the Trip Guru team has demonstrated over the last few months their ability to execute and scale to new markets. We are looking forward to Trip Guru rolling out across the whole Asia this year, which will position them for global expansion.”
Trip Guru CEO and Co-founder Sebastian Renzacci said: “After a year of our product launch, we are honored with the vote of confidence from our investors and the trust of over 5,000 loyal customers who have chosen TripGuru as their partner in discovering memorable experiences. For us, this is just the beginning of our long-term vision. We are committed to transforming traditional travel products into unique experiences based on customers’ feedback, local expertise from our network of travel curators, and the scale of our technology.”
About Trip Guru
Trip Guru is a booking platform that connects travellers via authentic experiences. Its curated group tours appeal to millennial globetrotters in search of social connections and unique activities. The Hong Kong-based travel startup currently operates in sixteen (16) destinations within seven (7) countries including Bali, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phuket and Ho Chi Minh. Since Trip Guru’s launch in April 2017, it has become the preferred travel platform with 1,000+ adventures for over 10,000 independent travelers and discerning explorers. For more information about Trip Guru, please visit thetripguru.com
Trip Guru’s Experiences