About the Platform
JoGuru.com is the world’s best algorithmic trip planner today. It is a place where travelers can plan their trips to anywhere in the world within a matter of minutes. Since the past one year, thousands of travelers have used JoGuru to create their tour plans and also book hotels which are suitable for their trips.
Thousands of other users are also able to see what plans for trips have been made by others. They can just pick trip plans made by others and use it for themselves!
Whom do we cater to?
The whole ecosystem of travelers across the world who want to travel by themselves, and want to create their own unique travel plans. We have observed that our service is more popular among young women across the world.
What do we offer to our consumers?
When a traveler is planning a trip to a city he/she has not been to before, he/she generally looks for a lot of information on things to do in that city and how he/she can best utilize his/her time in that city. He/she also needs to find out what the best times are to be at a particular place, what the best locations are to stay in and what the best modes of transportation are that he/she can avail so that his/her experience is great.
JoGuru basically makes this whole effort easy and fun. It is very easy and intuitive to discover things to do and find attractions in a city on JoGuru and plan the day-wise logistics.
What motivated us to start up?
The founding team was never happy working in corporate jobs. The freedom of setting up our own business was always a big motivation. We always wanted to be our own bosses. With JoGuru, we found a business which involved aspects we were really passionate about i.e travel and technology.
What’s in a name ?
We started thinking about the name very analytically. We looked at it from two approaches, first was that the name should be something that conveys what we do best. But we found that this approach was clichéd, in the sense that there was a huge clutter of startups in the travel sector which had “trip” or “travel” in their names. So we thought of staying away from this approach.
The second approach was this: Let’s look at the keyboard and see which of the English alphabets have not been used as logos and would also make good Logos in the future for us. We all agreed that “J” was a good choice. So we decided to name ourselves JourneyGuru.com. However, while we were doing the creatives, we understood that it was too long. So we shortened it to JoGuru.com
How do we see Social Media?
Social media is the media of the future. We are just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of the adoption and application of social media. Today JoGuru has huge social aspect to its planning platform.
Almost 75% of our users want to know what trips have been planned by others so that they can use those inputs to plan their own trips. Also JoGuru trip plans are shared online by users on Facebook, Pintrest and google+. This in turn gives us more users.
Currently we are….
We are currently an 18 member team. We were a total of 3 members (founders Praveen, Saket and Karthik) in the beginning. All of us were working full time on our day jobs. We used to be roommates in Delhi at that time. We scored an angel funding and Praveen decided to quit his job and work full time on JoGuru.
When things started picking up pace and we started seeing more work, we decided to hire domain experts for technology,contentandmarketing. When Praveen was overloaded with work and both Karthik and I (Saket) could handle both the jobs together, I decided to take the full time plunge into JoGuru. We have now managed to attract significant talent in all domains.
We have people who have 10 to 15 years of work experience in companies like Rediff, Big Adda, Shaadi.com etc.
Our biggest challenge was..
The biggest challenge has been raising the initial seed funding. It was really difficult for amateur entrepreneurs like us to raise the initial investments in a country like India. But we always kept our chins up and kept pitching our ideas. We finally raised money from an angel investor who also happened to be my college Alumni.
It was a struggle but it taught us some significant lessons. We are pretty confident that we will be able to raise more money in the future. We are also confident that we will make JoGuru a global travel brand name.
We want to dominate the world by..
We plan to make JoGuru a global travel planning brand name. JoGuru wants to be the go-to Brand for travel planning! We are already on our way to achieving that. JoGuru will be a travel planning platform which will be tightly linked to booking experience as well. All this will be done alongside social sharing of trip plans.
We’re making moolah by…
Hotel bookings and advertisement campaigns for tour operators are our biggest source of revenue currently. We also plan to add activity bookings to JoGuru.com in the next few days.
Our What The **** Moment
There are many, but the best one was when we were asked to empty our rented office space by the owner in 2 days because the office building had to undergo some emergency maintenance work! We had no clue where to take our office. We couldn’t sleep for those 2 days. The team had 15 members at that time.
We couldn’t find a new space within such a short time. We had to pick up all the machines and hardware in our cars and we worked in a small unfurnished apartment, sitting on the floor. Luckily we found the current office the very next week!
Luckily this experience was a real team building experience for all of us at JoGuru. I thank all the members for being with us during that time!
Industry as we foresee
The Indian social media industry has still a long way to go. There are many companies that offer social media marketing “services” to other businesses. However, there are very few Indian startups like JoGuru.com that are to some extent successful in attracting a global consumer user base. Indian startups now need to take a global approach and create products that can cater to global needs.
We need our own Googles and Facebooks and Pinterests that truly cater to global needs! We have successful e-commerce products for the local Indian market but we hardly have any social media products other than Zomato or JoGuru that have managed to cater to a global audience! But I am optimistic that this number is going to grow!
Lastly, Are you hiring?
Yes we are. UX designers, HTML, PHP programmers and tech sales folks!