Featured Startup Pitch: Holidayen is on a mission to cut travelers’ trip planning time from weeks to minutes

By Editor March 3, 2014
Courtesy of Holidayen.

Courtesy of Holidayen.By Tarun Madan, Holidayen co-founder

Elevator Pitch: Holidayen is an online personalized travel planning service that helps travelers plan and book complete travel packages within minutes.

Product/Service Description

Holidayen provides completely personalized travel packages with recommendations and booking options for attractions, activities, hotels, transportation, tours and cultural experiences in more than 300 destinations worldwide. Holidayen also provides an optimized itinerary for every single day of the trip that can be accessed via any device and shared with friends.

As per a Google study, online travel buyers on an average visit 32.5 websites for planning a trip, spending close to 129 minutes researching options online. This can often be frustrating, leading people to buy cookie cutter travel packages which are usually expensive and inflexible. At Holidayen, we help travelers define every element of the trip in a highly intuitive and simple visual interface, which reduces total trip planning time to a few minutes.

Courtesy of Holidayen.Founders’ Story

As an avid traveler, I had always found trip planning to be a cumbersome, time-consuming process. Most other travelers I met found it dreadful too—it took weeks to plan the entire trip. I realized this could all be greatly simplified to enable travelers to easily book travel experiences which were truly of interest to them. I shared this idea with my friends Mitanshu Garg and Utkala Mohanty, and we ended up starting Holidayen. Given the dispersed resources available over the Internet, we figured out that there was a huge but less explored market in the domain of travel planning.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

While we are adding great content to draw visitors to our site from search engines and through word-of-mouth to grow organically in the long term, in the short term we are focusing on digital marketing and social media engagement to reach out to travelers. Users who sign up with us receive updates on product features, and travel deals and recommendations.

Courtesy of Holidayen.Market Opportunity

International tourism receipts from the one billion international annual trips amount to more than a staggering trillion dollars. About 90 percent of these trips are planned online, and the online travel booking market is estimated to be $300 billion, with sound growth rates projected. Our core target geographies are the Americas and Europe, as they account for more than 50 percent of the total global tourism receipts. We are targeting the demographic of tech savvy travelers who travel regularly and love discovering new places and experiences, but hate having to spend weeks planning trips to their liking.

How We Differentiate From the Competition

Currently available resources for travel planning do not completely address travelers’ requirements—some have consolidated data on destinations but under-developed functionality for planning and booking, while the sites that allow for some level of automatic planning offer only a limited range of options. Holidayen offers a complete planning experience that includes all aspects of travel, including transportation, hotels, sights, and activities. Most of the options can also be booked online, making Holidayen a one-stop source of planning and booking, drastically reducing multi-city planning to minutes.

Courtesy of Holidayen.Business Model

We have deliberately kept our core offering of end-to-end trip planning completely free so that users can play around with different itineraries and compare them on budget, time and other factors without paying for the convenience of doing so. We get commissions on bookings made through the website, and on our paid Android apps.

Current Needs

We are currently scouting to raise a first round of investment to move on to the next phase of product development and invest in marketing efforts.

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Courtesy of Holidayen.Headquarters: New York City

Website: www.holidayen.com

Founders: Tarun Madan, Utkala Mohanty 

Investors: Bootstrapped

Year Founded: 2013

Twitter: @TheHolidayen

Facebook: facebook.com/Holidayen

CrunchBase: crunchbase.com/company/holidayen

AngelList: angel.co/holidayen