travel application Headout has received $1.8 million seed investment to expand the market. This app is like in your mobile phone installed a hotel concierge desk, help you find the U.S. cities of tourist attractions, activities, tickets.
Headout currently is only available in New York and Las Vegas, the two cities of services, the company declared before the end of the year, they will use the investment to expand the business to 12 new city. These new cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Miami, and so on. Among them, San Francisco and Los Angeles service will be launched next month.
the described themselves as “Uber” travel company, originally founded in bangalore, named Tourlandish, mainly for the tourism market in Asia. Company later joined the 500 Startups incubator project, shut down the original application, redistribute the focus on the application of tourism market in New York.
market operations in New York for six months later, it into the Las Vegas.
now, Headout applications have close to 500 time, the company said the number is its competitors can provide 5 to 10 times, there are 300 suppliers in the queue to join.
not all suppliers can enter the Headout, companies need to provide to them the tourism activities of audit, if approved, the supplier will have their own independent application, to control activities when open to Headout users. That is to say, they can release seats in application or tickets, rapidly clearing inventory, if necessary can also low price selling.
is the main purpose of the customer oriented application let visitors can quickly access to all kinds of tourism activities, as long as a little gently, from the theatre tickets to helicopter roaming to dinner cruise in control. In order to find convenient, Headout these activities can be divided into different categories, and there is special recommend section editor. The
in addition, the company also in research and development, more personalized recommendation algorithm to reduce the large activity categories and the best matching of the user’s interests. Now, these algorithms can only calculate some basic data, such as where the user opened the application, time, weather, and so on. But in the upcoming version, it can also use Facebook and Twitter social data, in the content and update the status of the user’s thumb up to understand the people’s interests.
the co-founder and chief executive officer Varun Khona said, he was the inspiration for the company and the other founders Suren Sultania together on a road trip in Europe. They found many commodity or activity on the existing network platform is not open, or the lack of interesting long tail activity (that is, the less popular, smaller sales activities), however in the online purchase price and the door directly buy is the same, but also to print paper vouchers, feel very trouble.
“on the whole, their development and application, did not adequately consider when their business is not around the spontaneous use or used as needed.” Khona said. “we know that there are a lot of people like us, not booked holiday activities, so one can use the simplest way to help you scheduled activities application is very useful.” They found that in the process of r&d Headout of the field of the lack of an effective integration, which is why the company’s long-term goal is to become the application of all travel destination in the world.
since July release, Headout claims to have for tens of thousands of users to make more than 65 countries around the world. Khona said their business doubled, every month and because the coming expansion, ten times this year is expected to grow. He also mentioned that company profits by 20% of the ticket fee.
Headout investment mainly comes from Version One of Ventures, this is a dedicated Internet consumers, SaaS (software as a service) and mobile business early venture firms. Its founding partners and Andreessen Horowitz board partner Boris Wertz said, companies to invest in Headout because they see an opportunity in mobile priority market.
seed round of other investors include 500 Startups, the Nexus Venture Partners, Arena Ventures, AngelList ‘its Maiden Lane Ventures, Funders Club, Haystack Fund, Ludlow Ventures, DreamIt Ventures, and angel investors Semil Shah, Rick Marini (Facebook), Fabrice Grinda (classified information website OLX), access the Bahl and Rohit Bansal electrical contractor Snapdeal (India), Steve Barsh and Neeraj Arora (WhatsApp).
in addition to expand business, the company also plans to hire more engineering staff, sales, operations, etc. In addition, they will still be with the other company cooperation of tourism industry, the company will be used in the product or service Headout API (application programming interface), but they also do not intend to publish what company for the time being.