Travel Tech Essentialist #80: How People Think
One hundred billion people have walked this planet. Nearly eight billion of them are alive today. Each has seen something different and thought something unique. But so many behaviors are universal across generations and geographies. Circumstances change, but people’s reactions don’t. Technologies evolve, but insecurities, blind spots, and gullibility rarely do — Morgan Housel, Partner at Collaborative Fund.
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In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, Selfbook, a startup revolutionizing hotel bookings and payments, shared its hotel partners’ sustainability efforts. Selfbook is proud to work with hotels dedicated to protecting the planet, and looks forward to partnering with more sustainability-focused properties as the world re-opens to travel. Read more about Selfbook-powered hotels’ initiatives, from coral restoration projects at Eden Rock – St Barths to reef-safe products at Namron Hospitality’s properties, HERE.
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1. How People Think
This article by Morgan Housel describes 17 of the most common and influential aspects of how people universally think regardless of each of our uniqueness. Gaining a better cognitive understanding will lead to making better decisions when creating companies and products.
2. Subtle UX improvements can make a half-a-trillion dollar difference
Why do some consumer social products finally make it big after a series of misses? Part of the magic often hides within UX details — particularly, those that help people make fewer decisions and take fewer risks. The Boneyard Principle shows how breakthrough UX approaches have transformed categories with multiple previous failures: social videos (before TikTok came Vine), social photos (before Instagram and Snap came Flickr), and dating apps ( before Tinder came Match.com). If you’re building a consumer social product, success depends on making the right UX choices. At each step of onboarding and consumption, ask yourself: am I asking the user to make a choice? Is that cognitive load necessary? And most importantly, am I building guardrails to protect users from a fear of rejection?
3. Ten marketplace travel private companies in a16z ranking
Andreessen Horowitz just released its 2022 Marketplace 100, a ranking of the largest consumer-facing marketplace startups and private companies (does not include public companies like Airbnb). The rankings are based on a score that includes GMV (per Bloomberg Second Measure), app performance (per Apptopia data) and website traffic (per SimilarWeb data). This year, 10 travel companies made the list, including 3 in the top 10. Only the Food & Beverage category had more representatives than the Travel category in the ranking.
4. Starting a glamping business with prefab houses
A prefab glamping cabin can cost $10.000 to buy and you can rent it for hundreds of $ a night. Peter Fabor thinks that the disparity between the price of prefab houses and how much you can charge for them as vacation rental properties, presents a great hospitality business opportunity. His post lays out the prefab glamping opportunity in some detail. Read +.
5. Revenue per employee 2021
Ranking of 2021 revenues per employee for 15 publicly traded travel companies ranges from $59k (OnTheBeach) to $977k (Airbnb).
6. The Latin America opportunity
NfX invests in pre-seed and seed stage startups with particularly promising network effects. They have invested in travel and transportation startups such as Lyft, Lastminute.com, Outdoorsy (#16 in the a16z 100 marketplace ranking), Lyric, Zeus, Peek, TravelStride, TravelJoy, KimKim, JetInsight, and The Hotels Network. In Why LatAm Is On The Rise, NfX outlines why they are so optimistic on LatAm, what is changing, the opportunities that lie ahead, and what traits they look for in LatAm startups. NfX strongly believes that the moment is now for creating massive businesses in LatAm. They have already invested in 7 promising LatAm focused companies, with more surely to come. Read +.
7. What is a Minimum Lovable Product?
Eric Ries developed the idea of MVP, and described it as “the minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.” This post argues that the product game has changed dramatically over the last few years and that customers are now much harder to please. For this reason, companies need to rethink their MVP because being Viable is no longer enough. You need to be Lovable and think about creating an MLP: similar to an MVP, but with more thought and care taken in design and UI. It aims to solve the problem, but also delight. Read + Product School.
8. A bit of humor…
Itilite, a Bengaluru, India-based startup developing Travel & Expense software, announced a $29 million Series C co-led by Tiger Global and Dharana Capital.
Lyric (which closed most of its locations in mid 2020) pivots and announces a $16 million round for its B2B spin out Wheelhouse.
Italy-based business travel BizAway closed a Series A round of €10 million, following the €4.5 million raised in 2020.
Kindred, a members-only home swapping network, announced it raised $7.75 million in seed funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round. This is its second round of funding after raising $4.5M in Jan 2022.
The Netherlands-based camping booking platform Campspace raised $3.3 million and acquired Pop-Up Camps to expand its offering throughout Germany and the rest of Europe.
Digital guidebook Touch Stay closed seed funding of £500,000. The UK-based startup gives rental hosts a solution to create digital welcome books.
10. M&A and other news
On April 13, TravelX celebrated the world’s 1st NFT ticket auction at the Eiffel Tower. The auction ended with a top bid of 1.002.000 USDC, making it the most valuable airline ticket in history. Read +.
One month after acquiring Transparent, OTA Insight acquired Kriya RevGen, a Dallas-based hotel revenue intelligence platform. Read +.
Tours and attractions distribution specialist Holibob acquired activities content and marketing startup TourismSolved. Read +.
Barcelona-based microstay platform BYHOURS announced a partnership with Rappi to offer by the hour hotel stays on the Rappi app. Rappi is a Colombian on-demand delivery company present in 9 countries and 200 cities in Latin America. In November 2020 the company launched its vertical Rappi Travel. Read + (in Spanish).
Travel Tech Essentialist job board
There are currently 230 exciting jobs posted in the Travel Essentialist job board. This job board can be a great resource whether you’re hiring or looking to be hired. Here are just a few of the amazing jobs seen on the board:
Google: Global Travel Industry Partnerships Lead (New York)
Google: Revenue Lead, Travel Partnerships (New York, San Francisco)
Selina: EMEA Growth Analyst (London)
AirAsia: Senior Data Scientist (Remote)
TripActions: Vice President of Marketing, EMEA (London)
Lastminute Group: Social Media Manager (London)
Browse more open roles (or add your own open roles) at Travel Tech Essentialist Job Board
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