TripSync: Simple Business Trip Planning and Management

tripsynclogo.pngTripSync, a distributed booking system aimed at trip planning for small to medium sized businesses, quietly launched last week. We recently reported on some other distributed booking systems as well.

TripSync is a web based application that lets your business book and manage the three major details of any business trip: flight, rental car, and hotel. You use a search wizards to find and make bookings in each of these categories. After specifying all the details, you can pay for all the arrangements by credit card, or hold off on payment and reserve the listing for 24 hours (most travel sites don’t have this option). When the booking is finalized, an itinerary with accompanying maps is saved to your online account and emailed back to you.

That would be all well and good for a one man show, but TripSync also has an administration level making it possible to plan trips for other members of your organization. Each user can make the administrator’s job a bit easier by setting their preferences for the types of flights, cars, and hotels they want. Armed with this info, the admin can then make and manage trips for every employee and post them to their TripSync account.

tripsyncsmall.pngEach trip can be managed on site, or through an easy to use Outlook plugin that automatically posts your trip itineraries to your calendar (Google and Yahoo calendar coming). The Outlook plugin makes it easy to rebook your plans by simply dragging and dropping the appointment to a new spot on your calendar. If the slot is available it will rebook. They have a great demo of the whole process here.

TripSync has larger plans than being a destination site for trip planning. They are currently integrating their technology with various partners in tied to booking services such as conferences, expense reporting programs, and CRM applications. They also plan to lower the affiliate margins travel services have to pay. Currently the site’s search engine uses Sabre Holding’s database of travel information for flights, cars, and hotels (Travelocity also uses them). Sabre charges monthly fees for storing this information as well as a for each booking made on through the service. These fees are somewhere around $9-$12 per booking for flights (depending on complexity) and cut into airline’s profit margins. South West has decided not to play this game and decided to never participate in these large globally distributed databases. TripSync wants to circumvent Sabre and book directly through the service providers for a smaller affiliate fee, allowing them to compete with lower booking prices.

TripSync is based out of White Plains New York with $3.5 million in financing they received from lead investor Ascend Venture Partners along with First Round Capital and various other angels last April.