Pune-based Holiday Deals Pvt Ltd, that runs social travel network Touristlink.com, has raised an undisclosed amount from Kenya-based accelerator 88mph (88mph.ac) and a few other unnamed private angel investors. The investment will be used for portal development, to establish presence in the African market and for marketing the service in India.
Founded in November 2011, Touristlink is a social network that provides first-hand knowledge regarding local tour operators, travel agents and small hotel owners. Travellers can post their queries before their trips and can also check out the reviews by other travellers who have opted for those services.
Unlike Tripadvisor that runs a similar service for hotels, Touristlink’s customer base also includes travel service providers. Touristlink earns revenue by selling its own deals and marketing those of others. In May last year, it started selling its own deals targeting tier II destinations to locals in India. The company also works with travel providers to market their deals.
It claims to have increased sales from $25,000 in January to $96,000 in June 2013. The startup was founded by David Urmann and Jayesh Bagde. The duo earlier set up other companies like Salt Lake SMS and GoTrip India.
88mph.ac is a Kenya-based accelerator that scouts for teams which can take their startups and scale them in the African market. It runs a 90-day programme which provides each of its startups with up to $1,00,000 plus mentoring, access to networks, technical infrastructure and working space in lieu of equity stake.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)