Singapore-based adventure tours marketplace Traca has raised a low six-figure seed investment from three angel investors. The amount is in USD.
One of the investors is from Manila, Traca managing director Andrew Anderson told DEALSTREETASIA but declined to divulge more.
The tours marketplace will use the funding to increase its headcount (from seven to 10) and improve its web platform.
At the moment, the startup’s primary business model revolves around helping traditional boutique adventure tour operators get online. Tours offered can range from skydiving in Cebu to trekking with orangutans to whitewater rafting in Bali.
Today, Traca covers tours in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and may expand to Nepal next.
The company charges operators a five to 10 per cent service fee. “We don’t charge any upfront costs or subscription fees. It’s just via bookings,” he said.
As for travellers, Traca targets people in Southeast Asia who have already seen the go-to or touristy spots in the region, said Anderson. “Now, they’re looking for more unique travel,” he continued.
Having just launched the site a couple of weeks ago, he noted that the number of transactions happening on the website is still “nothing significant”.
“Right now, what we’re trying to do is keep a small number of bookings coming through us, get user feedback so we can adapt before we start scaling too much – before it gets too hard to change. We want to make sure we’re doing everything right before we spend too much money and time,” he added.
Currently, many tour operators in the region are either not online at all or use PayPal as a way to receive payment for booking a tour. However, it is not always guaranteed that travellers will get their money back if the tour does not turn out to be as advertised.
Anderson said that Traca will help add a layer of credibility to its tour, since it verifies each operator through account managers. The company also claims to look at previous reviews of each operator to check if they are registered with their respective tourism authorities.
In Southeast Asia, adventure tour space is not yet saturated, with many tour marketplaces deciding to aggregate activities that lean toward being family-appropriate, from cooking classes to local art workshops. In India, however, Traca will face competition from Thrillophilia, an adventure tour website that claims to curate 10,000 activities from 150 destinations.