WeTravel , a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for amateur and semi-professional group trip leaders, officially launched its website after beta stage for 8 months.
The platform targets everyday people who organize trips for their family and friends such as school trips and reunions, and individuals leading multi-day trips for public groups such as yoga retreats, surf camps, and bike trips. They use the platform free of charge to create, manage, and promote group trips. Travelers can then join these trips, using WeTravel’s website, to register and pay securely.
Users have transacted $5 million worth of group trips on the platform to date, traveling in groups as large as 500 people to more than 20 countries. The platform has gained major traction in the student segment, attracting students across the US and from top universities such as Harvard, Stanford, University of Michigan, and UT Austin. Another early adopting audience is yoga teachers, who use WeTravel to manage retreats 2-3x per year, transacting $50-100k per trip. With today’s launch, WeTravel has introduced special landing pages for student travel and yoga retreats.
The company’s three co-founders (Johannes Koeppel, Garib Mehdiyev, and Zaky Prabowo) are immigrants hailing from Switzerland, Azerbaijan, and Indonesia, respectively, who met and started the platform while studying at UC Berkeley. They collectively speak 15 languages and have traveled to 80 countries. In CEO Johannes’ words, “We found that there are SaaS options for tour operators and travel agents, but everyday people still have to navigate multiple tools like email, Google Sheets, PayPal, and even paper-based forms and personal checks when they lead trips.”
Some examples of WeTravel’s users:
- Ramon Alayo, a Cuban-born dancer and choreographer, uses WeTravel to organize a series of two-week dance trips to Cuba.
- Darnell Walker, a movie director/producer, offers a monthly mystery trip called “Fly With Me”.
- Eighteen student groups traveled to Japan and Israel using WeTravel in spring 2015. Other private trips include a Burning Man camp and volunteering missions.
Trip organizers and travelers can use WeTravel totally free of charge. The company makes money by selling relevant travel products after travelers book trips on the website. Johannes envisions WeTravel ultimately becoming a marketplace: “Our convenient and time-saving platform attracts incredible organizers who were almost impossible to find on the internet. We are curating a collection of trips that will make WeTravel the leading marketplace for unique group travel experiences.”