Three Web3 Travel Tech Startups
Subscribe for free to Travel Tech Essentialist to receive 10 insights every two weeks in your inbox
Note: things are moving fast on the Web3 front, this post was updated on May 13th to make sure that it reflects the latest relevant information.
What is the problem or the unmet need that you trying to solve?
Who should be happiest and who should be most worried about what you are bringing to market?
What stage of development1 are you?
Which are the specific metrics/KPI that you are most closely watching?
Any metrics/traction that you can share?
What new element(s) are you introducing that address some of the characteristics and possibilities enabled by Web3 models and blockchain technology?
Will you be compensating early users/partners/contributors to your platform with tokens? How so?
Funding status. How are you approaching your fundraising needs (traditional VC, angels, tokens, etc...)
Here are their replies to these nine questions.
1.1 Brief description of DTravel
Dtravel will provide short-term rental hosts and property managers with infrastructure that enables them to accept on-chain bookings via a new web3 ecosystem. The Dtravel ecosystem blends the freedom of direct booking sites with the simplicity of online travel agencies, offering unrivaled ownership and control over the entire booking process.
Hosts set their own booking terms, freely determine the content they display and retain a significantly greater portion of their earnings. Guests benefit from better rates, more meaningful rewards and expanded payment options with cryptocurrencies.
Dtravel’s long-term vision is to leverage web3 technologies to enable community members, including hosts and guests, to work together to build and realize the full potential of a community-owned travel experience. As the number of community members grows, this community-owned and led travel ecosystem will mold into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), empowering community members to directly shape the future of the Dtravel ecosystem by submitting proposals, voting on them and contributing to their execution.
1.2. What is the problem or the unmet need that DTravel is trying to solve?
Lack control over money, policies, and relationships with their guests.
Don’t receive adequate compensation from the value they contribute to current booking platforms.
Lack a voice in influencing the future direction of the platforms they participate in.
With greater control, more equitable compensation and a louder voice, Dtravel’s goal is to give hosts the ownership they deserve when it comes to their business.
Pay more than they should.
Aren't rewarded for their loyalty with meaningful or exclusive rewards programs.
Have limited payment options for travel.
In developing the guest experience for Dtravel, these problems have been singled out as core focuses.
1.3. Who should be happiest and who should be most worried about what you are bringing to market?
Dtravel caters to all existing and future hosts and guests who are interested in managing or booking short-term rentals. Within that group, Dtravel is especially appealing to individuals who seek greater independence from online travel agencies and understand the promise of cryptocurrencies and decentralization.
Dtravel is the natural progression of travel for the internet’s web3 evolution. In the not too distant future, it will be an open platform for all types of individuals and companies to contribute to in a variety of ways. We welcome anyone who wants to contribute to a new short-term rental ecosystem and invite them to join Dtravel in executing on our mission.
1.4. What stage of development is Dtravel at (please refer to Note 1)?
Dtravel is currently evaluating product-market fit. We recently signed our first partnership with a property management system (PMS) provider and are set to launch the second iteration of the platform in May 2022 with a group of early adopters.
Property managers and hosts interested in using Dtravel can create an account on Dtravel.com, import their listings via Hostaway and get started on their web3 hosting journey today!
1.5. Which are the specific metrics/KPI that you are most closely watching?
The metric we will be watching most closely — and the one everyone can publicly see — is the number of on-chain bookings. When a booking is processed via cryptocurrency, the funds initially sit in a smart contract escrow account before being released to the host once their selected cancellation window lapses. All of the booking activity will be recorded on the blockchain.
In addition, we will be closely tracking the number of hosts, number of listings (which can also be verified on the blockchain, based on each listing having its own booking smart contract) and number of guests.
1.6. Can you share any metrics/traction?
We have many deeply engaged hosts involved in our Host Beta Program, plus thousands of others we plan to offer access to in the near future. Dtravel also has a major Property Management System partnership with Hostaway.
1.7. What new Web3 elements are you introducing?
Since web3 is built on decentralized blockchain technology, there’s no middleman when using Dtravel. Instead, Dtravel functions as a tool that facilitates direct transactions between hosts and guests using automated payments via smart contracts.
Dtravel will also utilize other web3 technologies like the TRVL token and the Proof-of-Travel Passport.
The TRVL token is the native token of Dtravel, powering its self-driving economy. It derives its utility from four purposes; travel, loyalty, protection and governance.
The Proof-of-Travel Passport will give travelers the ability to build their own online identity that shapes their world of travel. Stamps will be issuable to a traveler's NFT passport from participating travel partners, allowing them to build their own travel credentials on-chain. This technology will enable travelers to own all their data from participating travel platforms, while the same platforms can access on-chain data to implement unique, highly personalized web3 marketing campaigns.
1.8. Will you be compensating early users/partners/contributors to your platform with tokens?
Early property hosts using Dtravel are entitled to earn tokens in our Founding Partners program. For every booking completed on Dtravel, hosts are entitled to a 5.0% TRVL giveback based on the value of their booking.
In the near future, we will expand the program to include special incentives for guests.
1.9. Funding status. How are you approaching your fundraising needs (traditional VC, angels, tokens, etc...)
Dtravel is advised and led by former executives from Airbnb, Expedia and other global technology companies, and is supported by world-class venture capital investors. The seed round saw over $7m in funds raised, entirely through purchases of the TRVL token.
Potential strategic investors in the TRVL token are encouraged to reach out to core contributors.
2.1 Brief description of Xeniapp
Xeniapp is an operating system for travel for the Web 3.0 economy – powering anyone seeking to sell travel online. Our system allows our clients to instantly launch a web-based storefront, a booking engine with wholesale travel inventory, a custom-for-travel CRM, and a blockchain based payment settlement engine.
2.2. What is the problem or the unmet need that Xeniapp is trying to solve?
We identified three massive pain points in the travel industry:
Accessing wholesale travel inventory is incredibly difficult, but experience sellers can’t earn commissions without it.
Launching a booking engine, featuring a broad selection of travel inventory, is technologically complex and incredibly expensive – but many experience sellers want to offer this on their website for their clients.
Payments in travel are slow, expensive, and unsecure – more so than in other industries – due to the complex nature of transactions (cross-border currencies, multiple counterparties in each transaction, biggest target industry for credit card fraud). In many countries, payments for travel can’t even be made with a credit card due to excessively high fraud rates. Disputes among counterparties occur often, and resolution is difficult since each counterparty uses a separate booking ID.
Xeniapp’s system solves these three pain points at once, by providing a white label-able booking engine loaded with travel inventory at wholesale rates, all while recording and settling every transaction on the blockchain.
2.3. Who should be happiest and who should be most worried about what you are bringing to market?
Experience sellers and inventory suppliers are happiest with our product. Experience sellers can now launch a customized booking engine and bookings management system in minutes – saving them hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in tech expenses. Inventory suppliers see a huge new distribution channel – they can now access sellers they couldn’t reach before (because of the high tech and working capital hurdles inherent in distributing their product). Both parties can receive instant settlement of their transactions and reduce fraud by using XeniPay, our blockchain settlement engine.
Travel consortia and tech platforms, who respectively siphon off experience sellers’ commissions or charge huge upfront and monthly fees, could be disintermediated by our system. Credit card companies could also lose one of their biggest sources of revenue as transactions move to blockchain based settlement.
2.4. What stage of development is Xeniapp at (please refer to Note 1)?
Xeniapp is in the growth phase. We have a several-thousand client deep wait list to use our product, but we are launching it in phases with early clients starting December 15th.
2.5. Which are the specific metrics/KPI that you are most closely watching?
Number of users
Transaction volume per user
Commission rate (take rate on bookings volume)
Cost per transaction on the decentralized network
Reduction of Fraud
The mode of payment (Fiat Vs. Crypto)
Tracking account disputes against the ledger entries – We will be watching for all the edge cases in the system
2.6. Can you share any metrics/traction?
Not yet. The product is launching on December 15th with 3 initial clients.
2.7. What new Web3 elements are you introducing?
I would say creator economy dynamics – We are democratizing the Online Travel Agency space by allowing anyone to build their OTA at a fractional cost. Furthermore, we will enable them to operate in Xeni's decentralized ecosystem.
We have built a decentralized application (dApp) where travel agents, airlines, flights consolidators, hotel companies, accommodation wholesalers, car rental suppliers, tour operators, cruise companies, and any similar travel company can access a shared ledger - a shared repository of bookings information. The XeniPay application tracks transactions for all connected intermediaries and suppliers in real-time. XeniPay enables instant settlement, greatly reduces the total payments cost of a transaction, and facilitates accounts reconciliation across counterparties.
2.8. Will you be compensating early users/partners/contributors to your platform with tokens?
Yes – we will be launching a coin offering in the future and we will be using a portion of the coins as incentive tokens. The full tokenomics will be available in our white paper. Work in progress on that front.
2.9. Funding status. How are you approaching your fundraising needs (traditional VC, angels, tokens, etc...)
We have recently completed over $2M in seed funding from Angels and HNWI. We are not looking to traditional VC at this time.
3.1 Brief description of WYTLAND
WYTLAND is a decentralized social commerce Travel platform, designed for Travel creators, brands and modern travelers.
3.2. What is the problem or the unmet need that WYTLAND is trying to solve?
As the travel industry is entering its 3rd revolution, traditional travel distribution channels are broken :
Modern travelers (GenZ) are shifting from search platforms to social media platforms.
Modern travelers trust people, not ads anymore.
Leading Web2 travel platforms such as Booking, Expedia or Tripadvisor are still relying a lot on search and ads and are keeping all the value from suppliers who want to escape but can’t.
Social Media platforms are shifting from Ads model to an E-commerce model but are keeping all the value from creators who want to escape but can’t.
This is where WYTLAND comes in with its new Web3 Social OTA model.
3.3. Who should be happiest and who should be most worried about what you are bringing to market?
The happiest people within the Travel industry will be Suppliers (Accommodations & Experiences) who are still 70% dependent on middlemen & don’t get access to their data. And Travel Creators who try to live from their passion but struggle within this siloed and fragmented ecosystem.
The most worried should be the monolithic, centralized and commoditized Online Travel Agencies and all the other middlemen platforms in this online travel industry market.
3.4. What stage of development is WYTLAND at (please refer to Note 1)?
WYTLAND is entering the PMF stage.
3.5. Which are the specific metrics/KPI that you are most closely watching?
We’ll closely watch a bunch of KPI’s: number of Travel Creators onboarded, GMV paid to Creators, number of brands onboarded, global travelers reached, conversion rates on direct monetization.
3.6. Can you share any metrics/traction?
It’s too early to talk about metrics and traction but we already are speaking with our community of Travel Creators and Brands to define the product.
3.7. What new Web3 elements are you introducing?
WYTLAND is using blockchain for different needs at every stage of the product road map. The first layer we are working on is the decentralized data management and infrastructure layer to ensure our users that their data, content and IP are safe and that they own their online shop.
We are also discussing with our community to build a DAO for product vision & strategic orientations.
NFT’s and Social Tokens are more in the monetization product road map later in 2022.
3.8. Will you be compensating early users/partners/contributors to your platform with tokens?
WYTLAND will contribute to early travel creators governance tokens. Being community-led is part of our DNA.
3.9. Funding status. How are you approaching your fundraising needs (traditional VC, angels, tokens, etc...)
WYTLAND is going Pre-seed in January 2022 with Angels & VC’s focusing on Creator economy, Social commerce, Web3 & new consumer app models.
Problem-Solution Fit: Validating the problem you believe exists, and then validating the solution you believe will address that particular problem (typically for a particular type of user / market, etc.)
Product-Market Fit: Validating that the product you have built resonates with your target market, and validate that the same market will pay money, data, attention, time, or another resource in exchange for your product
Growth: Acquiring more users, customers, or clients, and understand the unit economics of your business model along with the underlying drivers of the unit economics.
Market Leadership: Achieving market dominance, or obtain enough market share that your business is financially sustainable, can invest in R&D, product development, and other long-term growth areas.
Scaling: Entering new strategic growth areas (typically new geographic markets, new product lines, or new applications of existing tech) that will provide the most value to the business, users, society, or other stakeholders.