Barcelona-based on-line journey company Exoticca — which sells “inexpensive luxurious” holidays to in style locations resembling India, Kenya, Brazil, Thailand and South Africa — has closed a €three.5 million (~$Four.1 million) Sequence A to increase into extra markets.
The lead investor is early-stage Madrid-based VC Ok Fund, with current buyers Sabadell Enterprise Capital and Grupo Palau additionally collaborating, together with new buyers Nero Ventures, Palladium Company Enterprise and Smartech Capital.
Exoticca was based in 2013 and at present operates in three European markets: Spain, France and the U.Ok. The brand new funding shall be put towards increasing that tally — with the German market subsequent in line, and a launch into the U.S. and Canada additionally on the horizon. Funds may even be funneled into additional growing the platform.
“The corporate spent the primary couple of years growing the technological platform and gross sales have grown very quickly since then (€Four.Four million in 2016, €10.5 million in 2017 and a price range of greater than €20 million for 2018),” says CEO Pere Valles, a latest recruit to the enterprise and beforehand CEO of Scytl.
Valles argues that Exoticca’s progress so far proves each the profitability of its enterprise mannequin — noting that Spain was “the primary market which Exoticca launched is already worthwhile” — and its replicability. “Final yr we launched the U.Ok. and France and the U.Ok. is already greater than Spain,” he says, including: “In July, we’re launching in Germany and we’ve got plans to open within the U.S. and Canada in 2019.”
Valles says the market Exoticca is working in is among the few journey market segments that has not but been digitized — with individuals nonetheless buying a majority of these journeys in conventional “offline” journey companies, owing to relative complexity, with the vacations sometimes having a number of legs and elements, maybe together with worldwide and home flights, land transportation, lodges in several areas, tour guides and so forth.
Exoticca’s platform permits customers to purchase such journeys on-line in a single go to, due to a proprietary reserving engine that integrates with all the varied suppliers — enabling real-time pricing for every part (so no must cellphone up for an precise worth earlier than having the ability to e-book, for instance).
“There’s no person else who gives real-time pricing for a majority of these journeys via an internet platform,” argues Valles. “Our competitors makes use of web solely to generate leads after which shut the sale both on the cellphone or in a retailer whereas we enable our clients to do the whole buy course of on-line in a single go to.”
There are some variations versus conventional bricks-and-mortar journey brokers, although. Exoticca clients can’t spec out a very bespoke vacation in dialogue with an agent, for instance.
Fairly it affords a listing of round 50 journey packages in its everlasting portfolio, overlaying what are described as “the most well-liked locations” for its goal journey class. (Although Valles factors out it does provide a level of sunshine personalization — resembling having the ability to decide a lodge class and optionally available excursions, for instance.)
When you’re content material to select from the choice, Exoticca claims the journeys are 30 p.c cheaper on common versus “conventional suppliers” — as a consequence of the disintermediation course of (i.e. it performing as each wholesaler and retailer).
“Every one in every of these journey packages is our ‘personal’ product within the sense that we’re those who ‘construct’ it by partaking immediately with the supplier of every part,” says Valles, including: “We additionally give our personal private contact to the excursions in every one in every of these locations.”
There’s a fairly placing branding type on present too — which options 1950s-esque graphics illustrating parts of the vacation packages and repair…
Presumably the hope is the retro styling will resonate with the older adults who’re the demographic most certainly to be available in the market for long-haul, luxurious journeys.
“We now have clients in all age teams however these between 45 and 65 are usually ‘overrepresented,’ ” agrees Valles.
He says the corporate is mostly concentrating on an analogous buyer profile to that of GV-backed members-only journey membership Secret Escapes.
Although they don’t seem to be like-for-like opponents, with Exoticca’s product definitely having extra of a concentrate on, properly, unique holidays — versus Secret Escapes providing lodge getaways to virtually anyplace (as long as the lodge is as much as snuff).
Different European on-line journey company startups embrace the likes of Dreamlines, which is targeted completely on cruise holidays to deal with a definite market section; and Evaneos, a market for tailor-made journey experiences that connects vacationers immediately with a group of native journey brokers — so is doing the lead era Exoticca’s strategy avoids.
Valles says the packages it sells are with “high-quality suppliers” (Four- and 5-star lodges) however provided at “discounted costs” meant to enchantment to a mass market of middle- and upper-class vacationers.
The general intention is to “democratize” this section of the journey market. (“A nice expertise at an inexpensive value” is the pitch.) Although in the event that they actually achieve widening the funnel they could find yourself undermining their luxurious promise. However clearly that’s not one thing they’ve to fret about but.
Funding clever, Valles says Exoticca beforehand raised €1 million in two seed rounds, one with F&F and one other with Sabadell Enterprise Capital. The enterprise is just not breaking out any consumer or utilization metrics at this stage, 5 years in.