As airlines have been expanding their routes and adding more and more WIFi, your legroom has been getting get smaller and smaller. You want to know how much space your feet have and how much WiFi you have, and he airlines just meaninglessly tells you that you are in a Boeing 747 doesn’t. Well now you finally have a one-stop shop for all your flying needs with Routehappy. They provide all the information you need about your flight, merchandising contents, as well as get top of the line data for the air travel industry.
CEO Robert Albert talks to us about the recent funding and his words may just convince you to use Routehappy every time you consider flying.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Our investors were PAR Capital Ventures, iNovia, and Contour (Primary ad Vocap are existing investors) for a $3M Series-B round
Tell us about your product or service.
Routehappy is the product differentiation platform for air travel, providing data, content and tools to help airlines and distributors differentiate flights and improve flight shopping. Our two products are (1) Scores & Amenities, worldwide flight rating system and comprehensive amenity data by flight, and (2) Routehappy Hub, a SaaS platform for airlines to create targeted merchandising content about their products and deliver it in their sales and marketing channels. Our third product is Competitive Data for the industry, which is in the early stages of development.
What inspired you to start the company?
Flight shopping is overly commoditized, despite a growing breadth of product and service differences among airlines. Consumers don’t understand their options well, and airlines don’t have a good way to merchandise their products. We thought this was a worthwhile problem to solve for a very large industry and market.
How is it different?
For many ideas to succeed in the travel industry, you need to have global, comprehensive scale to make a difference. We’re going after that scale — building a common differentiation platform that the entire industry can use efficiently to better merchandise their product and service differentiators in all sales channels to de-commoditize and create value. We’re creating a category.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Our customers and partners are airlines, flight distributors (e.g. GDSs, OTAs, metasearchers, corporate booking tools, travel agencies) and flight shopping and marketing platforms (e.g. GDSs, ancillary technology providers, upgrade technology providers, ad agencies.)
We’re providing critical data to the global flight shopping ecosystem, both Routehappy’s curated Scores & Amenities data as well as a platform and pipes for airlines to distribute their own targeted rich product attribute content.
We believe this is a very large new market.
What’s your business model?
Our anchor product for Distributors is Scores & Amenities and our anchor product for Airlines is Routehappy Hub. Both are sold on a subscription basis.
What was the funding process like?
Travel technology is a unique and complicated space. We’ve been fortunate to have very open minded investors, some of whom come from outside our industry, so far. This round, our Series B, was led by a seasoned airline and travel distributor investor who got to know us in our Series A, with participation two of our existing institutional investors. This round involved going deeper with investors with very specific domain knowledge of our industry.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Proving continued momentum with very large customers and prospects
Navigating through competing interests in approaches to investing in our company
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
A combination of momentum with very large customers and prospects and an understanding of the large problem we’re helping the travel industry solve
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Continued and accelerated momentum with airlines and large distributors, including airlines subscribing and using Routehappy Hub, distributors subscribing to Scores & Amenities and also integrating airline rich product attribute content into their displays. Our data is now live on Google Flights, Expedia and others. Ten airlines worldwide are trialing Routehappy Hub. We’re preparing to make major partnership announcements this fall with airlines and distributors.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
- Team is more important than anything else
- Find a good and real idea
- Focus, listen and adapt, and persevere!
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Heads down, serious execution that has to be brilliant to earn trust from airlines and distributors (and ultimately their customers, the 3b flyers a year who shop for flights and will increasingly start relying on our data and airline content that uses our platform.) In the neat term, we expect to further prove out our products and business model as airlines and distributors prove that differentiation data and content improves flight shopping. Expect to see more flight amenities and product features appear as you shop for your flights. There’s a good chance they might be from us.
Where is your favorite place to enjoy the summer weather in the area?
Riding Citbike around Williamsburg, exploring Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the East River Ferry!