India: Pickyourtrail bags $3m from Freshwork co-founder, others

Travel portal Pickyourtrail raised $3 million in a Series A funding round, the company said on Monday.

Kumar Vembu, co-founder, Go Frugal; Shyam Sekhar, founder of iThought; Freshdesk’s co-founder Girish Mathrubootham; and others participated in the funding round.

After getting more than 10,000 travellers on board, the Chennai-based start-up will use “a major chunk of this fund” for brand building. While most of the bookings come from New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, Tier 2 cities, including Kochi and Salem, also pull in lone travellers.

“Our major focus is on performance marketing and customer acquisition in a meaningful way,” said Srinath Shankarnarayanan, Pickyourtrail’s co-founder, in an interview. The funds will also be used for product innovation and expanding the technology team.

Unlike other travel portals, which also caters to group booking and corporate travels, the platform puts major focus on providing services to couples and nuclear families among other small groups. .

Founded in 2014 by Hari Ganapathy and Shankarnarayanan, the travel portal plans complete itinerary for travellers based on their preferances. The platforms also gives real-time suggestions about flight timings, weather updates, cafes, restaurants and places to visit, using data points, while a person is travelling. Factors such as duration, travel time, ratings are used to build the personalised itineraries and real-time recommendations.

“Personalisation is a mantra that’s been around in travel. I believe that our algorithms across personalisation, routing and price matching are industry first in their approach and output. Our end goal is to make Pickyourtrail synonymous with customized international vacations and this round is a great stepping stone in that direction,” said Shankarnarayanan.

The portal competes with established players like Thomas Cook in the integrated travel space, and with websites including Makemytrip and Yatra.com in the travel booking space.

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This article was first published on livemint.com