Bangalore-based Thrillophilia Adventure Tours Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates adventure travel portal Thrillophilia.com, claims to have generated Rs 3 crore in revenues in FY13. According to its co-founder Abhishek Daga, the firm serves close to 2,200 customers per month.
Thrillophilia was founded in late 2009 by husband-wife duo Abhishek and Chitra Gurnani Daga (CEO).
Abhishek is a B Tech from IIT Varanasi and earlier worked with Eulogy Media and Cisco in various positions. His partner Chitra is an MBA in leadership, strategy and entrepreneurship from Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and also holds a B Tech in IT from Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology in Gandhinagar. Prior to co-founding Thrillophilia, she worked at companies like SAP Labs and Infosys.
The startup is basically a curator of local travel experiences, targeted at the niche travel activity segment. It offers more than 400 activity-based tours and 1,000 offbeat travel experiences. "We have a 11-member explorer team which travels across India to curate the best local experiences and handpick the best local guides and vendors to provide a complete experience to our customers. The handpicking is done after extensive research. This way we have a lot of control over our quality, unlike other players," said Abhishek.
Recently, it started focusing on providing short-duration experiences and things to do across different destinations. The user is not restricted to booking long tours and planned itineraries and instead they can opt for short experiences such as a one-hour elephant ride, a night camp in a forest, a royal dinner at a palace or a micro-light flight tour. According to Abhishek, the startup has close to 500 corporate clients and has so far served more than 50,000 customers. He claims that a large part of its business comes from the corporate segment. The list includes Google, Mercedes-Benz, Accenture, Volvo, Wipro, Infosys, ITC Ltd, HDFC Bank, Indian Oil, Yahoo, Dell, Bajaj, Mahindra and FedEx.
A couple of weeks ago, Thrillophilia raised more than $200,000 (Rs 1.25 crore) in funding from Hyderabad Angels, iLabs Venture Capital Fund, Navlok Ventures and Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) IIM-A. The money is primarily being used to expand its curation team. It is now looking to expand its offerings to more than 6,000 tours and activities by the end of 2014.
The startup is also looking for a larger VC round six months from now, which will be used to scale the business, get more tours and activities on Thrillophilia. The firm claims it has been growing revenues at 200 per cent yearly and is already profitable.
Thrillophilia has 30-member team (including explorers) and is looking to hire more people for expanding to Delhi and Hyderabad by the second quarter of next year. As of now, the startup charges a platform fee from vendors which list on the site. "We are slowly moving towards a marketplace model where we charge a small fee from the vendor on every booking done through our platform," Abhishek said.
About competition, he said: "Completion comes from travel and tours websites, destination specific websites, and workshops and experience providers. But the biggest completion comes from offline tour operators which hold most of the stake in tour and activity zone in the country."
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)