Argentine startup Vontrip has quietly been gaining momentum for quite some time now. With an initial investment of US$40,000 from its partners and NXTP Labs, Vontrip has caught some attention in Silicon Valley. 500 Startups has made a US$50,000 investment in the company to initiate what it expects to be a larger seed round.
Vontrip was born in 2012, as company CEO José Schinocca explains it, “out of a clear need of hoteliers and people who enjoy traveling.” He added, “It was founded as a real and effective solution to one of the biggest problems the hotel market faces – empty rooms.”
The platform features escapes and small premium trips for consumers. At the same time, it is a solution for hotels small and large, providing them with a marketing channel focused exclusively on increasing their occupation rates and generating additional revenues as a result of more consistent bookings.
Premium Escapes, Discount Included
Through Vontrip’s online reservations system, users can access the best hotels in Argentina with discounts of up to 70%. “The hotels and complexes that are part of Vontrip must previously undergo strict quality controls,” Schinocca clarified.
Vontrip officially launched in Argentina two months ago. It already has over 50,000 active members and is growing at a 200% monthly rate. Over the next six months, the startup will commence it’s the regionalization process, first starting with Mexico and then moving on to Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay.
Every week, Vontrip selects a variety of hotels and tourist complexes to present to its members. Bookings can be made and paid for on the spot.
Once payment is received, the reservation is automatically confirmed with the accommodation. Upon arrival, the traveler simply needs to present his or her ID. Schinocca highlighted, “Everything’s confirmed in real time. There’s no need to print out vouchers or make phone calls. It can all be taken care of online.”
Not an Agency, Not a Coupon Gimmick
At first glance, it might seem like there are a lot of other players doing something very similar to Vontrip – as in online travel agencies and coupon websites. Upon further inspection, however, one can see that’s not the case. Vontrip specializes in the tourism vertical, which adds value to its offer.
“Our main differentiators lie in the attractiveness of our proposals, our reservations system with real-time online confirmation, our focus on premium hotels and complexes, and our customer service,” Schinocca explained. “Everything’s been thought out so that from registration to stay, the consumer has a unique and pleasurable experience.”
At the moment, the Vontrip platform features options in a number of popular destinations in Argentina, including the Atlantic coast, Patagonia, Salta, Mendoza, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Misiones and Buenos Aires. “We also offer nearby international destinations, like Colonia and Punta del Este. In the coming months, we’ll be launching an international section with destinations like Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean,” Schinocca added.
The focus from here on out will be on providing an excellent solution for hoteliers and travelers alike. “To achieve that, it’s important that we specialize and concentrate only on hotels in order to develop an excellent tool,” he noted. Vontrip’s principal objectives: to start operations in Mexico, launch their mobile app and arrive at 500,000 active members.