Flocations is a Singapore-based startup that aims to give adventurous travelers a new way to find and book trips through what it calls “discovery search.” Today, the team took the stage as one of our Startup Arena contestants to pitch their startup and answer questions from the judges.
Comparing his team’s service to popular online travel services like Expedia and Kayak, business leader Tudor Coman noted that Flocations allows users to search based on price and discover potential destinations that way. With a service like Expedia, Coman notes, the user needs to have a destination in mind to search, which doesn’t help adventurous travelers who want to get away but don’t know where they want to – or can afford to – go.
Say you want to get out of town next weekend, and you’ve got $200 to burn, but you’re not sure where you want to go. You can search Flocations by giving it your current location and price range, and it returns a map with pinpoints indicating locations you can visit based on the price limit you input. Clicking on one of the locations gives you more detail, including flight data and a link to book tickets.
This allows travelers to discover potential destinations they might not have known existed before they searched. It also presents the results of their search data visually – an attractive map – rather than in text. It presents only the most relevant data (the lowest-priced flights), which means users needn’t wade through long text lists of hundreds of flights with different prices all going to the same place.
The service is already live, but the Flocations team is still developing their product under the umbrella of JFDI Asia (a tech incubator). The core four-member team has a combined 31 years of experience in tech and business, and over the next few months they’re hoping to add additional ways to search, and acquire more data on destinations. They plan to monetize the site via affiliate programs (airlines, hotels, and local activities) and targeted advertising.
Although it certainly has room to grow, Flocations is already a slick, simple service that’s bound to have some appeal for adventurous travelers and money-conscious backpackers looking for a fun getaway to anywhere that won’t break the bank. Just watching their presentation made me wonder where I could go from my home in Beijing.
The judges clearly liked their presentation, but expressed concerns about how quickly they can develop and the threats they might be facing in the cutthroat online travel market.