How one startup used the downtime to improve life for travel buyers and suppliers
Fresh from $3.5 million in seed funding last November, vintage car tours startup Nowaday had big plans.
Following its launch in New York, the company had earmarked Los Angeles next and was also working on Speakeasy cocktail making classes. Then came COVID-19 and the team had to sit down and decide the company's next move. Jaime Getto, co-founder of Nowaday, says the team wanted to be productive during the pandemic and help the travel industry emerge stronger. With her co-founder Heather Stupi and chief operating officer Alexa Berube, the idea for Reposite - a workspace platform for the travel trade - was born.
The trio had previously worked for Vettery, a software company, specializing in recruitment. Getto says: “We had a deep background in building out a software platform and scaling up so we put our tech hats back on." She explains that while the travel trade had been a great distribution channel for Nowaday, there were multiple onerous practices in terms of day-to-day processes. “Efficiency was the lens into it but we started picking up the phone and chatting to our industry partners to find out their biggest frustrations in their day-to-day workflow.” The team ended up doing between 50 and 100 “discovery calls” to get a handle on the “bottle necks and frustrations”, according to Berube. Reposite is currently being trialled by a beta group and one of the first features is a place to store and manage vendor and supplier relationships, including all the contacts associated with those relationships. In the past this might have been done through PDFs, Excel spreadsheets or Dropbox, which often made them difficult to keep up-to-date and accurate. Meanwhile, other productivity tools are often seen as expensive and not specific enough for the travel trade in terms of specific elements, such as net rates. Berube says that Reposite will also have search capabilities so that if a customer ask for a proposal for a private dining room in midtown Manhattan with a certain budget per head, the system will return suppliers that fit those criteria. “Right now it’s Google search or scanning through old files and then picking up the phone and calling all the restaurants.” The hope is that the platform will also help sales teams be more efficient as they start welcome business back again.
Nowaday will also use Reposite as New York reopens and it begins to work with trade partners again to offer its tours. The team has also remained close to the local community and reopening efforts by working on a non-profit organization called Rebuild New York. The organization enables local businesses, such as restaurants and retail outlets, to share their reopening plans and learn how others are preparing for what comes next.
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