Gurugram-based social travel startup Airblack has just raised $1.5 million in seed funding from the venture capital firm SAIF Partners. The funds will be used to launch a consumer product, recruitment and also to scale-up the traveler and influencer community.
About the platform
The platform connects influencers with travelers who want to travel independently without opting for tour packages. Airblack says they are currently leveraging Instagram and Whatsapp for this purpose. The company claims to have helped 1,000+ travelers till now.
Meet the Airblack founders
Airblack has just been founded in February this year by Pulkit Pujara and Videt Jaiswal, who were the financial specialists at Saif Partners itself.
Pulkit is an IIT Alumni from IIT Delhi. Before working at SAIF Partners, he worked at Grofers as AVP-Operations and Deutsche Bank as an analyst.
Videt, earlier worked as a part of the investment team at Saif, and before that: Associate Researcher, Boston Consulting. He also founded University Express Media which was acquired by One Impression in 2016.
Statements enclosing the funding round
“Lot of content on platforms such as Instagram and travel blogs has made travellers more confident to travel but at the same time, it has also created a problem of information overload, which leads to anxiety and confusion. We saw there is a strong social need in travellers to talk to other travellers before taking purchase decisions, and an aversion to talk to travel agents because they are not relatable to this audience. We are focused on creating a strong trust layer in this category.”
– Videt Jaiswal
“Over $600 billion is spent on international travel in Asia, and we see India’s international travel market at an inflection point already. We strongly believe that a large wave of the new consumer demand in travel will be led by people who like to have independence in planning their trips. With increasing disposable income, spend on international travel will go up. And these users will look for social validation online before deciding on a high involvement purchase like travel. We were impressed by the team’s unique insights and community-driven approach to cater to this traveller.”
– Mayank Khanduja, Principal, SAIF Partners