|Asia will lead travel innovation and watch out for more disruptive start-ups.|
Wednesday, 11th September 2013
Source : Yeoh Siew Hoon
Amit Anand, managing partner of Jungle Ventures, believes Asia will be at the forefront of travel innovation in the years ahead and that the next wave of start-ups will be more innovative and disruptive.
Anand (right), who was among the first investors to take a bet on Travelmob and made its exit when HomeAway acquired 61% of the start-up, said, “We will see a lot of new innovative models coming out of travel in Asia, more than from the US. There’s a lot of activity in travel industry itself – people travelling, hotels being built, look at the success of AirAsia.”
He said he had seen some interesting models coming up such as visual search and a post-booking app. “Yes, there are start-ups in these spaces in the US but Asia is not far behind – the next wave of start-ups will be more innovative and disruptive.”
And the biggest disruption will come from mobile. “The whole broad search and travel booking is open for the taking in Asia – there is the potential for somebody to become the platform, the mobile first platform.
“Who will become THE travel brand on the mobile internet – could we see an Expedia.com borne out of mobile that will be bigger than Expedia?
“The mobile customer in Asia doesn’t know travel brands that well – their exposure is not to Expedia or Makemytrip, but Facebook or WhatsApp.”
Anand, who hails from Mumbai and has a technology enterprise background, set up Jungle Ventures in 2010 with a fund of US$5 million from “families and friends”. Today, its fund has grown to US$20 million and its average ticket size is between US$500,000 and US$2 million.
“Typically we lead mini series A rounds and gather investors around us. We are currently doing a round of US$3 million right now, and we are putting in US$500,000.”