Taxidio Startup Success Story
- Startup Name-Taxidio
- Founders-Vishal Kejariwal & Abhas Desai
- Sector-Travel and Tourism
- Parent Organization-Taxidio Travel India Pvt. Ltd
Taxidio is an automated travel planner which is continuously working towards inspiring travelers to find the right destination and ease the process of trip planning. Taxidio aims to be the one stop solution for all needs of travelers for trip planning and booking. Taxidio works with the mission to provide a convenient and personalized travel experience for the explorers.
Tourism Industry Details
The global tourism market itself is about 10% of the world’s GDP, close to 54% of which comprise of leisure travelers. Taxidio is currently focusing on the Indian market that itself is projected to grow at the rate of 11-11.5% to a $48 billion market by the year 2020 as per a report by Boston Consultancy Group.
According to IBEF, the online travel market alone is expected to account for around 40%-50% of the total transactions by 2020.
Founders of Taxidio and Team
Vishal Kejariwal and Abhas Desai are the founders of Taxidio.
Vishal Kejariwal is the CEO of Taxidio. Vishal holds an MBA in Finance degree (majors in Capital Markets) from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, India. He also holds an Engineering degree in Computer Science from Mumbai University and has worked for a major Indian conglomerate for over 5 years. After his corporate stint, he moved on to take his passion for traveling and turn it into a full-time work role.
Abhas Desai is the CTO of Taxidio. Abhas holds an engineering degree in Computer Science and an Executive MBA degree in Information Technology. He has a prolific 10-year-long experience in the field of IT and firmly believes in integrating everyday human activities with technology.
Abhas and I have known each other for almost two decades now.
Convincing Abhas to join me was not a very tough one. Just like me, Abhas had an urge to do something outside the box and use his skills for doing more than he was doing. i.e. to his full potential. We were confident that my passion for traveling combined with the business skills I have learned along with his tech skills would surely create a product to look forward to.
Besides the co-founders, the team consists of 4 think tanks with an average age of 25 years from different backgrounds, such as IT, finance and media.
How was Taxidio Started
“The inspiration to start Taxidio came out of our travel experiences,” said Vishal.
Vishal and Abhas have always loved traveling. The more they traveled, they realized that no matter how easy it sounds to plan a trip, the actual process of planning is rather complicated and highly fragmented.
The process of researching and validating started by taking a sample of frequent travelers and taking a survey of their entire trip planning process. The idea was to find out if people really find the information available on the internet fragmented and whether they would be open to the idea of using a product that could do the entire process of trip planning. Vishal and Abhas also spoke to certainly experienced professionals from the hospitality business and took their inputs on the initial idea they had. They started working on the prototype and launched the beta website of Taxidio in May 2017.
Taxidio - Name and Logo
Taxidio’s name and logo have an interesting story to it. Taxidio means to travel in greek.
The name ‘Taxidio’ itself develops a certain amount of inquisitiveness when its read or heard and people often ask us what is the meaning of this word. This increases brand recall. The idea was to keep a word close to travel but at the same time not make it long such that it may not get the necessary brand recall.
The idea behind Taxidio’s logo is also quite fascinating and reflects the company’s mission and vision. Taxidio’s vision and mission is to make travel planning as simplified and convenient as it can be for travelers. More importantly, it is to introduce them to the best of what the world has to offer. The same thought is translated into a clear and minimal design with the globe in the center, in order to establish an association with traveling.
The idea to hold the globe in a symbol that resembles ‘T’ in the Devanagari script is two-toned. The first stems from Taxidio’s core belief that even though we cater to an international audience, are roots are Indian. We want our brand to resonate with these values and our identity which is attached to them. The second denotes that Taxidio covers destinations all over the world for you to travel to.
What is Taxidio
Taxidio is an automated travel planner available in web and iOS and Android app. The services provided by Taxidio are-
- Destination Recommendation
- Online Itinerary Planning
- Accommodation Booking
- Attraction Tickets
- Readymade Itineraries
- In-depth Travel Guides
Comprehensive Travel Information - top attractions, day-trips, places to stay and party in each city/country
B2B Solutions for Hotels
Plug and Play Solution for OTAs
Taxidio’s USP is that it is the only online DIY trip planner that recommends the right holiday destination based on the travel preferences of the user. The traveler has to input information such as budget, temperature preferences, duration of trip and interest. Taxidio reverse-engineers the information provided by the traveler and helps them create fully customizable itineraries, offers in-depth travel guides, and undertakes hotel and attraction bookings. Taxidio has curated content for 500+ cities across 90 countries
The portal also offers pre-planned itineraries which are created by experts to give you a starting point to plan your trip.
Furthermore, Taxidio also has a B2B vertical that aims at maximizing the concierge experience across hotels and provides tech-based solutions to independent travel agents and OTAs.
No other player in the online travel space provides such a huge spectrum of services. We pivoted and we believe it’s a very important stage in the life of the start-up. We changed our model from being just a B2C company to also include the B2B segment which provides healthier cash flow. We also re-looked at our branding and came up with a new website, logo and brand colors which were more relatable to the users globally and also helped us in creating a better interface.
Taxidio - Business Model and Revenue Model
Taxidio operates in both B2B and B2C model. On the B2C front, Taxidio earns revenues through the sale of travel guides and commission earned from the booking of accommodation and attractions.
Taxidio is also in the final stage of commercializing its B2B revenues which run on a subscription basis from hotels and offline travel agents.
Taxidio - User Acquisition
Taxidio extensively uses digital media to market its services. It uses social media marketing channels such as Facebook and Instagram to reach out to the right audience set. Along with this, Taxidio also has a huge content bank (over 5million words of proprietary content) which has been used aggressively for SEO efforts. Besides, word of mouth publicity has also worked quite well for Taxidio, in attracting the initial users.
Taxidio - Funding and Investors
Taxidio has raised funding close to US$ 275,000 including promoters equity.
Taxidio - Startup Challenges
The creation and curation of content have been the biggest challenge for Taxidio team, as said by Vishal.
In an industry where content is easy to find and also gets outdated very soon, we wanted to create a niche by our own travel content which is always updated and is free from any plagiarism and is also extremely useful and relatable to all types of travelers. We can relentlessly have worked on this since day one.
Another issue faced was due to the company’s website. The initial design of the website did not work for the company. The colors were dark and the ability of users to understand the website functionality on their own was minimal. To solve this issue Taxidio soon came up with a new and user-friendly website.
Taxidio - Competitors
Travelibro, Triptomatic, Travefy, TripHobo,Utrip, Pebblar, Roadtrippers, YourTour and Tripit are some of the competitors of Taxidio, which are operating in the trip planning domain. However, every platform has its own unique features.
It would be unfair to pick one company and say that this is the direct competition of Taxidio. Having said that, though there is a certain overlap with few Indian and global players in the planning space, what really differentiates with us the kind of revenue and volume we are drawing to our website and app with minimal funding we have at our disposal. This has been possible only because we have been exceptionally cautious about spending every penny and channelized it in a manner that all our marketing efforts to date have been successful.
The kind of content provided by Taxidio takes it a step ahead of the competition. Other players in the market offer online itinerary planning, hotel and attraction bookings, pre-planned itineraries, etc. But there is no single platform that covers it all. Taxidio is also the only online trip planner that also provides comprehensive Travel Guides and B2B services.
Taxidio - Recognition and Achievements
Taxidio is the only Indian startup (and eventually) the only Asian startup to attend a 2-month startup mentoring program in Madeira, Portugal. It was amongst the 9 travel startups to be selected from across the globe for this program. In the program, Taxidio had a chance to learn from various experienced professionals in various aspects of building and scaling and start-up. This was a huge learning opportunity for co-founders. Taxidio has also been awarded as the winner in Seed stage for consumer internet category by Aeonian and have are also a recognized start-up as per the guidelines laid by the Government of India.
Taxidio - Growth
Taxidio, company has been routing revenues right from the day it went live. Currently, the company has-
- 70000 + visitors on its site
- Taxidio has routed booking worth more than US$ 150,000.
- It has over 2000 registered users
- It has more than 4000 itineraries created.