Featured Startup Pitch: Travel network JoGuru is creating a searchable database of travel itineraries for quicker and more detailed trip planning

By Editor October 2, 2013
Praveen Kumar, JoGuru

Praveen Kumar, JoGuruBy Praveen Kumar, JoGuru founder and CEO

Elevator Pitch: We believe we have solved the problem of time-consuming online trip planning through our amazing design, content and big data algorithms. JoGuru has identified the right user needs and travel planning pain points, and has derived a very smart and intuitive product.

Product/Service Description

JoGuru is an ultimate social travel network which offers personalized itineraries, experiences, and answers to travel queries with crowdsourced content from travelers themselves.

An algorithmic itinerary planner happens to be the flagship feature of JoGuru. It has a very interactive user interface, which makes it easier to understand. This itinerary planner basically optimizes the travel route as per selection of attractions and their timing. There are currently 70+ top cities for which the algorithmic itinerary planner can be used on JoGuru.com.

Team JoGuru has developed an astute algorithm which generates a sequence of places to see in a day in such a way that all the places can be visited without taking a longer route and within closing time of attractions. Not just that! It also suggests best mode of transportation to use and time duration to travel with that means. This itinerary planner makes it easier to decide where to go and what to see with a handy set of critical logistical information like nearby eateries and mode of transportation, parking availability, ticket prices and tentative time a user can reach a particular attraction. To begin creating an itinerary, all one has to do is select destinations and points of interest or by referring to already-created itineraries, which one can always edit and save to their profile.

Founders’ Story

JoGuru is a dream child of three: Saket Newaskar, Karthik Ramachandra, and me. The three of us met at an IT company (HCL) where we bonded over the same passion that we have—traveling. We wanted to go on a vacation to Leh, and since it wasn’t that popular at that time, it took us two weeks to summarize things to do and how to reach them. It was real pain to get the right information in order to plan our trip. From there, the three of us started thinking over the idea of JoGuru.

The trip to Leh changed my life. I faced numerous difficulties while biking through some of the highest passes in the world. It made me take chances and believe that things can be made possible with a strong will.

Saket is also an eccentric traveler. He has now backpacked through Europe two times and is always secretive on what he did in Munich during the beer festival.

Karthik is the kid among us. He likes to go on adventure rides. He is the only one among us to do bungee jumping, paragliding and snorkeling (yes, all of them!)

Market Opportunity

The global travel market is crowded with services for booking hotels, flights, activities, and deals—the industry is severely fragmented. The online user experience for a leisure traveler is still broken because very few players exist who help a user plan ‘things to do’ at their travel destination.

JoGuru comes up with an easy escape plan for travelers where they need not be required to spend a significant amount of time online to plan a perfect trip which may involve multiple cities, multiple destinations, and multiple preferences—eight-to-20 websites, five-to-40 Google queries, multiple questions posted on social networking forums; two hours-to-two weeks of time before a travel plan is finalized and a booking is confirmed. It’s a lot of hard work before a fun vacation is booked!

How We Differentiate From the Competition

JoGuru is intelligent and will keep on becoming smarter as a product. The biggest USP [unique selling proposition] of JoGuru is that it is a colossal repository of smart itineraries which a user can browse without logging in. The user only needs to login if he/she needs to save/edit an itinerary.

We have seen 100 percent rises in traffic ever since the launch of beta itinerary planning. We did exclusive testing with avid travelers to plan an itinerary for a destination they don’t know much about, and they were incredibly happy with the outcome of the product. We did receive positive feedback on how we stand out from any other online travel planning website with travel intelligence.

Business Model

JoGuru will open its platform to tour operators to showcase their itineraries on JoGuru—thus helping them with branding, user acquisition, and conversion. JoGuru will also be integrating hotel booking and activity-booking services.

Current Needs

JoGuru is Seed funded for USD $200,000 and it is now in the process of raising additional funds to promote the product. JoGuru is always on the lookout for fresh coders, designers and writer talent.

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JoGuru logoWebsite: www.joguru.com

Headquarters: Pune, Maharashtra, India

Founders: Praveen Kumar, Saket Newaskar, Karthik Ramachandra

Year Founded: 2011

Twitter: @JoGuruTravel

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/2624738

CrunchBase: crunchbase.com/company/joguru