Chennai-based travel start-up Pickyourtrail raises ₹21 cr.

City-based travel technology start-up Pickyourtrail has raised ₹21 crore ($3 million) in a Series A round of funding. This round was led by Kumar Vembu, CEO of GoFrugal, Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshworks, Shyam Sekhar, founder of iThought, and Rajagopal Subramanian, CIO of Entrust.

The start-up intends to use this capital infusion for continued product innovation, scaling up the proprietary technology platform, expansion of its technical team and creating brand awareness. The firm also wants to tap the Tier 2 and Tier 3 market where digital penetration is still not very high but there is a significant number of people taking trips.

Founded by Hari Ganapathy and Srinath Shankar in 2014, Pickyourtrail was launched with the idea of providing people the ease of planning international vacations. Pickyourtrail’s proprietary algorithm takes into account over 40 factors like duration, travel time, ratings, and so on, to build personalised itineraries that travellers can further customise and book. Post booking, travellers use Pickyourtrail’s app to keep track of bookings, get real time information on flight and weather updates, restaurant recommendations and on-trip chat support.

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Growing interest

Hari Ganapathy, co-founder of Pickyourtrail, said that people are slowly getting comfortable booking vacations online. He added, “We have had about 10,000 plus travellers who have picked their trail with us till date. Of this, more than 95% were Indians and the remaining 5% of people are from Singapore, Dubai, U.S. and people in West Asia who come to know about our product online.”

The start-up claims that it is unique from other portals in the market. “Our focus is trying to use tech to personalise and create last-mile delight and with our understanding of vacations, having travelled to about 50-plus countries ourselves, we have a core understanding about how consumers behave and how they buy,” said Mr. Ganapathy.

Mr. Shankar said, “Personalisation is a mantra that’s been around in travel. I believe that our algorithms across personalisation, routing and price matching are industry first in their approach and output.”