“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller who is foreign,” Robert Louis Stevenson hits the problem on the head with this quote. Travelling, especially travelling international, is no easy feat. “While people usually enjoy the trips, their back breaks with the planning. At GoFro, we’ve tried to create a platform that can empower the traveller,” starts off Amitabh Misra, who was the CTO of online retailer Snapdeal, before starting the international travel platform.
As the only trip planner in his family, Mishra says he has first-hand experienced the stress, which led him to the venture. This is probably why the company has managed to get seed funding of $5 million from MakeMyTrip too.
But how is GoFro different from the host of other travel platforms? Misra says, “We have an advisor platform where destination experts guide the traveller,” adding that is more than general advice and tailored as per the user’s plan.
“Along with building the live itinerary, we also provide post booking services such as visa and travel insurance. Besides, there is a companion application that provides live assistance once you’re at the destination,” adds the founder.
Currently, GoFro caters to six destinations — Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Dubai and Indonesia. The packages range anywhere between #50,000-6 lakh. The average cost for 2-3 passengers for a four-night trip to Thailand at a four-star hotel is about #1.5 lakh. Based on a marketplace model, suppliers list flights and hotels on the portal. "We add a mark up of 10%-25% and finally sell it to the customer,” shares the founder.
The plan ahead, Misra says, is to keep going places and bring the average transactions per month to 1,000. “Our ticket size would increase as we enter neighbouring countries, Gulf, Australia, New Zealand and Europe,” he says, adding that the portal will cater to 90% of the destinations that Indians prefer to explore by March 2017.