Travel Tech Essentialist #94: Get Lucky
“Chance favors the prepared mind.” - Louis Pasteur
This week’s newsletter is sponsored by
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1. Looking at 320 pitch decks, here’s what data says works best
DocSend created a fundraising playbook and a “state of the union” report for fundraising. It makes for a fascinating in-depth read for those of you in a fundraising process. You can see detailed fundraising stats, pitch deck analyses, best practices and templates for pre-seed, seed and Series A fundraising processes.
A few interesting datapoints:
Investors are spending 24% less time looking at pitch decks in 2022 (2:42) than 2021 (3:32). For decks that fail to raise funding, investors give up in just 2 minutes and 13 seconds.
25% of startups are raising in less than six weeks; 58% raised in less than 12 weeks; 70% in less than 18 weeks; 90% in less than 24 weeks.
Average pre-seed numbers. # of slides: 19. Investors contacted: 60. Meetings set: 52.
In pre-seed pitch decks, investors in 2022 are spending 52% less time on the product section and 42% less time on the business model section compared to 2021. The company purpose section had the third-longest viewing time.
In seed decks, there is an increased focus on monetization. Investors are spending 94% more time on the business model of successful decks and 78% more time on the market traction sections of decks that didn’t receive funding.
Series A decks are longer because they need to show multiple forms of traction–such as user increase, P&L metrics, customer reviews, product/market fit, and awards.
2. Introducing Travel Investor Network
And speaking of fundraising processes, I am happy to announce that I’m launching Travel Investor Network, an invitation-only platform to better connect startups looking for financing with investors looking for great startups to invest in.
💸 If you are a VC, angel investor, corporate development executive, consulting firm, or innovator interested in a yearly subscription to join the Travel Investor Network, please request an invite by completing this form (should take less than 2 minutes). As a member of the Travel Investor Network, you’ll get:
A monthly email with a curated list of startups raising capital
Access to a secure platform with quantitative and qualitative metrics for each startup I recommend
Searchable table to filter and find startups that match your criteria
More to come…
🚀 If you are a travel startup looking to raise a round, get in touch with me (by replying to this newsletter) so that we can discuss how to move forward.
3. Reverse how you frame your promotions
People are more likely to buy a promotion when it describes the restriction first and then the offer (e.g. “When you buy two tickets save 50%”) instead of the other way around (e.g. “Save 50% when you buy two tickets”). An email campaign to 329,647 basketball fans had an 8% higher click-through rate (3.51% vs 3.25%) when it said “Select Mavs tickets 30% off” vs “30% off select Mavs tickets”. Research shows that between 66% to 88% of people prefer to hear bad news first and good news second. Read + Ariyh.
OK, let’s give it a try…here is a promotion for the Travel Tech Essentialist Talent Collective. If you’re a travel company currently looking for great talent, please pay attention (and use code “TTE50”):
4. Fast forward 30 years
The 1992 list of the “Top 50 Travel Agencies” was the first that Travel Weekly published, ranking the largest agencies in the US (or more precisely, with at least 15% of the sales volume generated in the US). A few agencies on the list 30 years ago are still present, or at least recognizable. For example, Carlson Travel Network, #2 in 1992, was an ancestor to today’s #5, CWT. Liberty Travel, #6 in 1992, is today listed as a sub-brand of current #7 Flight Centre Travel Group Americas. The only top 10 agency whose ownership has remained a constant since 1992 is Omega, #10 in 1992 and celebrating its 50th anniversary. Omega is still on the top 50 list and still led by founder Gloria Bohan who started the company in 1972.
In 1992, four of the top 10 could trace their roots back more than 100 years. In 2022, three of the top 10 are the result of the Internet, a technology that was not in the hands of consumers in 1992. In 1992, a group of students and researchers at the University of Illinois were developing a sophisticated browser that they called Mosaic, which later became Netscape. Read + Travel Weekly
5. NFTickets are here
Low-cost Argentinian airline Flybondi became the first to join the TravelX blockchain-based travel platform and convert all its tickets into NFT airline tickets, or NFTickets. TravelX hopes to offer the inventory of 60 more airlines within the next 12 months. After acquiring an NFTicket, a customer can auction, sell, transfer, gift or exchange them. TravelX charges no fee when a user purchases a ticket on the platform, but it does receive 2% when a transaction is made on the platform's peer-to-peer secondary market, while airlines keep another 2%. Read + Coindesk.
6. Roadmap to getting luck on our side
Luck plays a big role in a startup’s success or failure. Marc Andreessen wrote a great post in 2007 titled Luck and the Entrepreneur: The four kinds of luck.
Luck 1: the good luck that occurs completely accidentally. It is pure blind luck that comes with no effort on our part.
Luck 2: motion is added and it yields a network of new experiences. “Keep on going and chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.” This luck favors those who have a persistent curiosity about many things coupled with an energetic willingness to experiment and explore.
Luck 3: it comes in but could be overlooked except by that one person uniquely equipped to observe it, visualize it conceptually, and fully grasp its significance. This luck favors those with a sufficient knowledge background plus special abilities in observing, remembering, recalling, and forming new associations.
Luck 4: It comes to you because of who you are and how you behave and your personal ability to interpret it at an odd angle. It favors those with distinctive and eccentric hobbies, personal lifestyles and behaviors.
Entrepreneurs and creators can influence the likelihood of getting lucky:
How energetic are we? How inclined towards motion are we?
How curious are we? How determined are we to learn about our chosen field, other fields, and the world around us?
How flexible and aggressive are we at synthesizing—at linking together multiple, disparate, apparently unrelated experiences on the fly?
How uniquely are we developing a personal point of view—a personal approach?
7. Accenture highlights 4 major technology trends that impact travel
Accenture published a report that takes a look at how technology innovations are impacting the travel industry and enabling experience connecting the real and virtual worlds. The 4 major trends they highlight:
WebMe. Traveler experience in the metaverse: from inspiration to planning, booking, experience and sharing.
Programmable world. Programming the physical environment will emerge as a competitive differentiation in travel.
Making synthetic authentic. The balance between AI-generated data and authenticity.
Computing the impossible. A new generation of computers solving some of the world’s greatest problems.
8. McKinsey technology trends outlook
Another tech trends outlook, now by McKinsey, identifies and interprets 14 of the most significant technology trends, highlighting the development, possible uses, and industry impact. The interactive report examines tangible factors such as investment, research activity, and news coverage to gauge the momentum of each trend. Read + McKinsey.
9. Virtual travel
Speaking of tech trends and travel…
10. Fundraising and M&A
Two more acquisitions for FLYR. Pribas, which enables airlines and other travel operators to better control their distribution strategy. and Pace Revenue, a hotel revenue optimization and decision intelligence platform with 1000 hospitality customers in 45 countries.
Portland-based travel planning and booking startup TrovaTrip raised $15 million. The startup enables creators, such as Instagram influencers, to plan, sell and host group travel experiences with their communities.
Frontdesk, the fastest-growing short-term rental property manager in the United States, closed $13 million in Series B financing led by Stormbreaker Ventures with support from JetBlue Ventures.
Hotelverse, a Mallorca-based startup, raised €1 million following another $1 million raise earlier this year. Hotelverse enables 3d recreations of hotels and hotel rooms.
Thanks for responding to the poll last week. Based on the results, and according to Sean Ellis, this newsletter has strong product/market fit (his threshold is that at least 40% of users should respond “very disappointed”) 🙂.
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Travel Tech Essentialist job board (this is a different product from the Talent Collective)
There are currently 153 exciting jobs posted on the Travel Essentialist job board. Just a few of the amazing jobs seen on the board:
Hopper, Senior Pricing and Strategy Data Analyst (Remote)
Booking, Senior Manager Brand Media (Amsterdam)
Airbnb, Growth Marketing Lead (USA, Remote)
Pruvo, Multiple BizDev positions (Remote)
eDreams ODIGEO, Senior Data Scientist, Marketing (Remote, Barcelona)
GetYourGuide, Global Head of Localization (Berlin)
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Have a great week,