Russian online air travel booking site OneTwoTrip raises $ 9 million after significant first year – TechCrunch
Moscow-based online air travel booking startup OneTwoTrip announced this morning that it had raised $ 9 million in funding from the Phenomen Ventures fund in exchange for a minority stake. The site offers Russian travelers a way to book their flights online, providing price comparisons and airline choice. OneTwoTrip has already managed to gain considerable traction in Russia, first launching in beta in May 2011, then upgrading to a full version in September of last year, and reaching average daily sales of 3,500 tickets. , with total bookings expected in the $ 400 million. range (of which OneTwoTrip sees a 6-7% reduction) by the end of the year.
OneTwoTrip was successful in part because they launched a solid product, with a website that definitely offers a more contemporary feel compared to its competition. Timing is also an important factor in its success, as online tourism in Russia is a rapidly growing market – Phenomen Ventures partner Dmitry Falkovich, who is also joining OneTwoTrip’s board of directors as part of the agreement, said in a press release that Russia’s online tourism is growing at a rate of around 70% per year, and reports scattered from various destinations, including Bulgaria, Greece and Abu Dhabi the number of incoming Russian tourists has grown rapidly, sometimes up to 128% this year compared to last year.
The growing Russian travel market gives OneTwoTrip space to operate, and this investment is intended to help expand the advertising and development of the site, including future additions to planned services like hotel booking, car rentals and cruise tickets. OneTwoTrip is founded by Peter Kutis, who was also previously in the founding team of the competitor Anywayanyday, which already offers all of the above. Overall, there are many players vying for the elbows in this growing market, including Ozon Travel, a subsidiary of huge Russian e-commerce player Ozon, and Oktogo.ru (run by a former founder of Mail.ru) and Ostrovok.ru for hotel reservation.
To differentiate itself, OneTwoTrip relies on a sophisticated search engine that uses flight scores broken down by airline that incorporates the frequency of delays, occurrences of cancellations, space in the cabin and between seats and age of the plane, as well as savings which it claims to have totaled over a million dollars for its customers since its launch. It might be difficult to carve out a sustainable space with so many people interested in online travel in Russia, but so far OneTwoTrip’s rapid growth in the first year has already made it “very profitable.” according to Falkovich, seems to indicate that the market can support other participant in this category.