With the amount of self-made millionaires on the rise, the luxury market is on an upward trend. According to BCG the global luxury market already accounts for €1.3 trillion worldwide with luxury travel as the largest single category worth €335 billion and growing at an impressive rate of 5-6%.
So where online do you buy that private jet you’ve always wanted coupled with a month long holiday in the Seychelles? Sure you can check out JetSetter for travel, James Edition for that private yacht and you can meet other affluent travelers on ELEQT but who wants to spend time on three different sites that don’t really fulfill your needs? On top of that, the online purchase experience of luxury goods, whenever possible, tends to be cumbersome. Treating luxury goods with conventional e-commerce solutions implies high Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and low Long Time Value (LTV). On top of that, the online luxury customer experience is still far below the standards of the offline luxury retailers.
Trovel, founded by Agustí Sala and David Rodríguez, is a a global high-end travelers’ club made up of a luxury travel agency, luxury magazine and a luxury goods boutique, through which members can travel together and connect with other travelers who share similar interests. “If I give you a tablet, 50.000 € and 10 minutes time, where would you reserve the trip of your life”? Most people said “Booking.com” or “El Corte Inglés”. There is no reference for booking luxury travel 100% online and Trovel wants to become the leader in this sector”, says CEO Agustí.
Founded in 2011, the core of their business is the sale of luxury travel experiences but since then Trovel has evolved into something much more engaging. “Our aim is to become not only a distributor of luxury travel and lifestyle experiences but also a community where affluent travelers can share their travel experiences and connect with each other”, affirms Agustí.
The social element of Trovel is one of the most interesting I’ve seen to date, taking a different approach to ‘connecting’ travelers. Members, or “Trovellers” as thy liked to call them, can discover other members with similar travel interests in their cities or in other locations around the world. Similar in a way to what ASW used to do, members can create trovels (trips) from their account and share them with other members. “This community feature is essential to retain our customer base, while serving us a platform for high quality content, one of the key channels in our marketing strategy”, notes Agustí
He adds, “Pure online premium travel players, usually focus on a single aspect of the luxury travel experience, with few of them providing a truly comprehensive discovery and purchase experience, let alone a social element. For example, Jetsetter has developed a successful commerce operation but it only offers a narrow selection of deals and lacks a social dimension, whereas for online communities, such as ASmallWorld, the sale of travel experiences is actually a minor activity. Our differentiation derives from the fact that we combine both aspects (on-line product distribution and social networking), while remaining very focused on the top end of the market and providing a complete hassle-free booking and sharing experience”.
Agustí, who serves as CEO, has an extensive and successful experience in event management and social networks. Co-founder, David (Head of Product) has a deep knowledge in the tourism industry and worked at one of the first e-commerce websites in Spain. The team is also backed by an advisory board of seasoned Internet professionals that provide strategic guidance, mentoring and support in specific aspects of the business
To date, the Barcelona startup has received €400K of seed capital from its founders, business angels and Atlántida Viatges, their strategic partner. These resources have been used to develop the site’s e-commerce and club platform and launch the beta versions. The team is currently working on securing a follow on round of €1M and the European launch in English, German and Spanish so if you don’t hablas the spanish then watch this space.
If you like a bit of luxury in your life then Trovel is the destination for you.
You can check out their video here: