Group travel is complicated! Travefy makes it easy! Travefy is the easiest online group travel planner. Through Travefy, groups can collaborate on trip ideas, build a group itinerary, book travel deals, and collect shared expenses. Travefy serves over 8 million activities, restaurants, accommodations, and deals across the globe to discuss, book, and build a rich shared itinerary. Travefy’s groundbreaking group expense management tool allows groups to track all shared expenses, settle the bill, and collect payments through Travefy. Never get stuck with the bill again!
The Big Plate: What’s on your plate?
Travefy: Where to begin? We always have a lot going on, but that’s the way we like it. We recently released an awesome update to our discovery tools, providing a better way to search our 8+ million global activities, restaurants, accommodations, and flights. This new method provides rich results with photos, maps, ratings, descriptions, menus, and more.
We’re now focused on a refresh of our groundbreaking expense management tool, several fun customer promotions starting next month, and so much more. There are not enough hours in the day, but we love what we’re doing!
TBP: How did you come up with the idea of Travefy?
Travefy: Necessity is truly the mother of all invention! The idea for Travefy was born two years while planning a bachelor party for one my best friends. We were a group of guys utterly incapable of getting ourselves organized. At one point, we were 80 emails into this endless thread of figuring out when worked for everyone, when one friend said “I got it” and booked a hotel room. He was right that it worked for many of the guys, just not the one getting married!
I knew there had to be a better way to plan group travel, but couldn’t find any comprehensive tools that solved all of the coordination and payment problems associated with groups. At that point, Travefy was born.
TBP: What are some of the features that you realized you needed after launching in beta late 2013? What are some upcoming features that you’re working on as well?
Travefy: We’re big adherents to the lean startup mentality, so we purposefully keep our development/release cycles to two weeks and constantly push out new features to learn from users. As such, our first “beta” product was very minimalist , allowing us to learn what features our customers truly prioritize as well as identify key user experience issue areas.
Since our late 2013 “beta” release, we’ve learned a lot from our customers and subsequently released a number of new features including flights, mapping, a mobile expense companion, and more in addition to big enhancements to our existing features.
TBP: You’ve also created Travefy Pro, how does that differ from the original Travefy planning tool?
Travefy: Great question! After releasing Travefy, we found that numerous organizations like Travel Agents, Sports Leagues and Conferences were all looking for custom branded group travel planning software. Travefy Pro is simply white-labeled – or branded versions of Travefy’s trip planner to meet the needs of these valuable partners.
Today Travefy’s software powers numerous Travel Agents, Conferences, and even Bridal Magazines looking for a bachelorette party planner!
TBP: When competing with other travel apps, how do you keep Travefy on top of its game?
Travefy: As an industry, travel continues to be ripe for innovation, so the ecosystem is constantly evolving. For us, this represents an awesome challenge to stay ahead of the innovation curve and be mindful of competition.
We maintain continuous innovation in a variety of ways including regular competitive reviews and attending industry conferences, BUT the most important thing we do is listen to customers. Customer feedback is by far the most important way to stay on top our game. Through qualitative customer discussions and quantitative behavioral analysis, we learn so much from our customers on how to improve Travefy and what new challenges to tackle.
TBP: What’s the best startup advice you can give to other entrepreneurs?
Travefy: Listen! It’s an exciting time — you likely have an awesome vision and you’re ready to jump in and build (which you shoudl). But, take the time to seek the advice of those around you and always be listening.
From invaluable advice from mentors on how best to build a company to customer advice on your product, always listen!