Booking business trips is often a hassle. Between connecting flights and renting cars there is so much to plan and your HR department probably doesn’t have the bandwidth to handle all the details efficiently. What’s your next best option? Introducing NexTravel – the all-in-one travel management platform that will take care of nailing down all the specifics of your business trips down to even rebooking cancelled flights. It’s great for companies as well as they are able to manage and track employee travel with one simple to use intuitive interface. Business travelers can now actually focus on the business associated with business trips.
Today, we sit down with CEO Wen-Wen Lam about the future of business travel and how Nextravel is changing the business travel landscape.
Tell us about the product or service.
NexTravel makes booking and managing travel for companies simple. It allows companies to set policies for cost control, have their employees book on a centralized card, and store personal travel information securely for fast and easy booking. In addition, smaller companies gain access to corporate discounts negotiated based on volume. We also work with several partners and integrate with HR and Expense systems.
How is it different?
We’ve built easy to use software for both the admins and employees to book travel. This has resulted far higher online adoption rates than our competitors who still often use physical travel agents– essentially we’re automating what is today a very manual process for many companies. Better internal products equal happier and more productive employees.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Eventually we want every company who books business travel to use us. In the US alone, the total size of business is travel is $226 billion dollars, worldwide it is $1.3 Trillion dollars. Right now, we’re focused largely on SMBs, with a strong focus on mid-market.
What is the business model?
For small businesses with basic needs, the software is free. For any premium features needed by larger enterprises, we charge per seat, as well as additional fees for custom/enterprise features.
What inspired the business?
Both my co-founder Alexey and I love to travel. After talked to hundreds of companies and there was a clear need in the market. Paul Graham always says to do non-scalable stuff first. We booked travel for several companies for more than a year before launching our product.
You have a new awesome tool called – NexTravel Hire. Tell us about it…
We noticed that some of the companies that we work with were using us specifically to fly in candidate and that it was a huge pain point – we had 10-20 person companies using us solely for recruiting. We built NexTravel hire specifically to solve the back and forth and payment issues on behalf of the candidate.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
As we continue to grow, we’re planning on incorporating innovative sources of supply so we’re not another corporate travel booking tool. Our goal is to build best in class travel products geared towards business travelers.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Well, I haven’t gotten it yet, so I wouldn’t know!
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Taylor Swift- I think she’s an incredible entrepreneur. After that, maybe Fred Wilson.
Why did you launch in New York?
There is a great base of travel suppliers and customers. About half of our largest customers are here in NYC.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?