TrekkSoft, the Swiss startup that primarily offers a B2B solution to enable tour and other activity providers to promote, manage and sell their tours online, offline and on mobile, has raised a $800,000 seed round.
The new funding, which adds to the $200,000 previously pumped into the startup by its founders while bootstrapping the company, comes from Redalpine Capital II, the Innovation Fund of Schwyzer Kantonalbank, and a group of private investors, including Armin Meier, former CEO of Kuoni, Walter Güntensperger, CEO of Active Travel and former CEO of Hotelplan Switzerland, and Adrian Locher, founder and COO of DeinDeal.ch. Locher and Redalpine Capital’s Markus Oswald join TrekkSoft’s board of directors.
Founded in 2010 and fully launched in 2012, TrekkSoft targets Tour & Activity suppliers — which it notes is the largest segment in the travel industry after flights and hotels, and worth over $90 billion per year — with a SaaS solution to help them manage their prices, capacity and sales channels from one platform. It offers features such as real-time, online bookings of live inventory both online and in-destination via mobile devices.
At first glance, TrekkSoft competes with an array of tour marketplace solutions, such as GetYourGuide, Peek, Viator etc., although these focus more on B2C and distribution. Instead, the startup is attacking the B2B end of the market by giving tour suppliers a solution that ensures their live inventory is directly bookable on their own website/app, and accessible to re-sellers and marketplaces. In this respect, its competitors include Rezgo.com, TourCMS, Bookeo.com, and Xola.com, “although Excel, the telephone and pencil and paper, and home made sign-up forms can all be considered significant competitors as well”, says TrekkSoft co-founder and CEO Jonathan Fauver.
More broadly, TrekkSoft is talking up the market opportunity as a whole, claiming that less than 15% of tour companies have an online sales presence and even fewer have a mobile solution. “It is a fragmented, low-tech industry with the majority of the “live” product inventory not available in real time,” adds Fauver.
Additional functionality offered by TrekkSoft’s B2B solution includes an integrated payment gateway, tour management software, and a CMS with a suite of promotional tools including social media integration, and agent tracking. “We also package in a free mobile optimized website and/or white labeled app,” says Fauver. Meanwhile, the TrekkSoft Partner network also allows suppliers in the TrekkSoft eco-system to seamlessly cross-sell each other’s products either directly or via an API.
For tour and activity providers, TrekkSoft is free at sign-up, with no fixed fees, or set-up costs, offering unlimited user accounts and unlimited bookings. Instead it charges 6% plus a .50c transaction fee on any online booking, which includes credit card and PSP fees. All offline reservations and bookings — i.e. those where payment isn’t processed via TrekkSoft — are free of charge, such as POS bookings, telephone reservations, direct payment on arrival etc.
TrekkSoft says it currently hosts a live inventory of over 3,000 trips supplied by more than 200 companies worldwide and has processed 600,000 bookings to date. It will use the fresh injection of capital to expand its booking solution to new destinations and onboard new accounts quicker, as well as further develop its technology both on desktop and mobile. It also plans on staffing up its Sales & Marketing office in New York, which it opened just over a year ago, to “focus on high volume destinations for U.S. and European consumers such as the Caribbean, Mexico and South Florida”.