Brno, Czech Republic might not be considered a major European startup hub, but trip-planning service Tripomatic service has emerged as one of the city’s brightest success stories with 450K unique monthly visitors to their website, 200K monthly app downloads, and 300K monthly trips planned. Having becoming well-established, the company prepares to introduce an affiliate program, crowdsourcing, and other features to expand its popular service.
One thing that stands out immediately after searching for a particular city (in my case, I just went with Istanbul) is the visually-appealing UI for the service. Once you have selected a city, you are taken to a map where you can find see “bubbles” indicating attractions, restaurants, hotels, etc. On the lefthand side of the screen, there are a number of filters that you can select to find various attractions or locations. If you are going to be staying for awhile, the service allows users to book a hotel through Booking.com.
Barbora Nevosadova, who co-founded the company with husband Lukas, says that the idea to jump into entrepreneurship came to them when on holiday in Switzerland a few years ago. She says that, although initially she looked forward to planning the trip, it quickly became a difficult and frustrating process and they likely missed on a number of interesting attractions in the area. Therefore, they decided to go ahead and develop their own.
Nevosadova says that they initially believed that it would only take 2-3 months to create a functioning service, but it ended up becoming a 9-month-long. She says that they started out as a web-based service in 2011, but launched an iOS app a year later. They followed that up with an Android app in 2013 and then expanded to Blackberry 10 this year. They also decided to revamp their website to create a unified experience across platforms.
The service is completely free to end users, which is somewhat impressive when considering that they do not have any external investors. Nevosadova says that they generate revenue by selling the offline data and by taking commissions from travel services that users arrange, such as cars, hotels, etc. In order to support the business, they have taken profits from other projects and, as a result, they are nearly breaking even. Nevosadova says that they may seek external funding, but they do not feel that they need it at the moment.