Praveen Kumar, Saket Newaskar and Karthik Ramachandra
“The biggest USP of TripHobo is the large volume of user-generated itineraries
that are available for any user to make the most of.”
Connect with TripHobo
The TripHobo Story
TripHobo is an online travel itinerary aggregator that optimizes your itinerary. It lets you pick the places you want to visit, the things you want to do, and suggests the best itinerary. Founders Praveen Kumar, Saket Newaskar and Karthik Ramachandra, travel enthusiasts themselves, started TripHobo in 2012. Since then, it has grown to become a global brand that boasts of one of the largest repositories of user-generated itineraries across the world.
In Conversation with Praveen, Saket and Karthik
Recipe for success
The biggest factor that determines the success of a startup is its people. You may have heard that a great idea is what fuels a startup, but the team you build is more important. Irrespective of what your product might be, disruptive or just a small improvement over existing offerings, what will truly set you apart is your long-term vision and your belief in working towards that vision, no matter what.
Creating the right culture is very important too. It’s always best to set the right expectations early on. Whether it’s with investors or with employees, it’s critical that you stay on the same page. The last thing you want to do as a startup is lose focus on the core product and spend time on fixing broken relationships.
Focus and adaptability are key factors that can make or break a startup. Very early into the product, there are usually tons of interesting ideas and features that you come across. It’s critical to pick out and focus on the few that really make a difference. Be open and prepared to make changes, be it to the team or the product, whenever necessary. Pivoting at the right time can make or break a company.
Your unique idea
TripHobo is the largest and fastest growing platform today for creating personalized itineraries. Hundreds of thousands of travellers across the world use TripHobo each month to discover feasible trip plans created by other travellers or to create their own perfect trip plans from scratch.
TripHobo’s biggest USP is the large volume of user-generated itineraries that are available for any user to make the most of.
Other travel planning startups have also tried to suggest itineraries by asking users a few questions. These attempts focus on using algorithms to generate itineraries. The problem with these itineraries is that they’re generated by a computer! That’s simply not the way people go around planning trips. People talk to others, discuss and debate when they create a trip plan. And this is what we’ve tried to replicate on our portal. With a massive repository of itineraries created by real travellers, we’ve got something for everyone. Users can edit and customize itineraries according to their preferences.
Every time someone creates or customizes an itinerary, it is available to rest of the TripHobo community to see or use. This kind of user-generated content and sense of helping out and reaching more people is what we believe is needed in the travel planning space.
Partnership with Kalaari
It’s important for a startup to raise money, but it’s even more important to find the right investor. TripHobo has been lucky to have Kalaari as its partner very early in the journey. Kalaari understands travel, having partnered with successful travel companies already. The deep industry knowledge they brought to the table has probably been even more important than the money. We’re also lucky to have great mentors in Vani and Sumit. They’ve played a pivotal role in many of the strategic decisions for both the product and the company.
Your first meeting
The first meeting did not go as planned. We’d prepared for the meeting weeks in advance and were very excited to meet Kalaari. Unfortunately, it was a total disaster. The demo wasn’t perfect and our excitement quickly turned to panic. We left the meeting thinking that we’d never hear from them. So it came as a massive surprise when they called us for a partner meeting in Bangalore.
Vani and Sumit ‘get’ us. They got what we were trying to achieve and articulated it to the Kalaari team. This gave us a shot to present to the board. The belief the Kalaari team put in us was a huge motivating factor. We decided that there would be no slip-ups this time. The partner meeting was a big success and we were finally able to secure our first round of institutional funding.