Founded in April of 2012, Indonesia-based travel startup Burufly helps users discover fun places to travel in Indonesia, while making it convenient for users to book hotels and flights online. In some ways, it is similar to sites like Wego, Traveloka, and Flocations. Founder Pete Goldsworthy said that rather then just being another travel meta-search engine or aggregator, Burufly prides itself as being a content-first travel site.
So if you look through Burufly.com, you will find a lot of content that helps users understand how they can get to a particular place of interests, what they can do, and how much it costs to get there. In the sidebar, users can book flights and hotels directly.
There is so much content on Burufly (including great photography) that it feels more like an online travel magazine in a Pinterest skin. Goldsworthy, who is half-Indonesian, believes that most meta-search travel sites focus too much on pricing and neglect that the decision to go on a trip also requires research and discovery.
He also believes that having good travel related content also helps Burufly acquire users more efficiently. While competitors are spending a huge online advertising budget to bring in visitors, Burufly enjoys a lot of organic traffic generated by people who search for content. The site is extremely social as well. Every user, be they a travel agent or a travel enthusiast, can create their own collection of places. Users can click “want” to save a trip or “done” when a particular trip has been explored. Launched this past November, Burufly now has more than 178,000 registered users who have clicked the “want” button over 800,000 times.
Pictures on Burufly are either be uploaded from users, or they come from its photo database provided by Majalah Tamasya, a popular local travel magazine. The site’s written content is either created by its editorial team or by its horde of travel-happy users.
Of course, the cost of creating original content is expensive, but could be more cost effective than online ads in the long run, as the archives will continue to serve them in the future. Currently 20 percent of the content is generated by users, and we can expect that figure to soon increase, thus bringing down the overall cost of content creation for Burufly.
Burufly received investment by Ardent Capital and is also self-funded by Pete. Prior to this startup, Pete was the managing director of Admax Network in Indonesia and Malaysia and also the country manager of iProperty Group in Indonesia. In the future, he plans to expand his travel service to Thailand and Malaysia.