Dutch entrepreneur Jochem Wijnands, who sold his last company to Apple, has launched a new travel tech startup TRVL.
Founder and CEO Wignands sold Prss, a mobile publishing platform to Apple in 2014, and is a former travel photographer at National Geographic. With TRVL, he has released a peer-to-peer travel booking platform after nine months in beta.
The platform allows users to become a “TRVL agent”, personalising travel recommendations among friends and peers and earning commissions through their own bookings and recommendations for friends.
“We’re completely reimagining the travel agent: crowdsourced, collaborative, and trusted. Throw in a very attractive earning model of up to 10% per booking, and you can see how TRVL will change the way we book our trips online,” said Wijnands.
“Artificial Intelligence is great, but nothing beats a personal recommendation, from one human to another. That is still the most appreciated and most valuable travel advice there is.”
Arthur Hoffman is COO and formerly of Expedia, he added: “We often end up spending many nights behind our laptop, researching a destination, and building up enough confidence to make a booking. A personalized recommendation often helps us cut right to the chase.”
For its own business model, TRVL takes a slice from each booking made on its site while the majority of the commission goes to the agent. The startup has signed up Booking.com, Hotels.com, and TripAdvisor as partners.