Rishi Khiani-led Ant Farm's travel-related venture Arrive has gone live for the public. The company is sending out invitations to users who had registered for it earlier when it was launched in closed beta. Arrive is the second venture by former Times Internet CEO Khiani's startup platform Ant Farm. After Arrive, Ant Farm also launched a designer wear e-tailer Stylista, which went live last month.
Arrive is a travel-based social networking platform where users can create their own profiles, and follow/be followed by friends. On the profile users can add places they have been to (on a world map) and post recommendations as well. Under a tab 'tips & reviews', users can post short reviews of places they have been to—these could be of cities, restaurants, tourist attractions, etc. Users can also add connections through the randomly listed profiles or search for people by name or destination.
The venture was started by Raj Datwani and Nicks Lapsworth and it went live in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming to India. An interesting twist to travel planning, the website is pretty easy to navigate. Upon searching any place, one gets all information about it including the current weather (with a five-day forecast), currency converter, featured places to see, and people who recommend it.
In a time when OTAs are fighting it out to get transactions done, sites like Arrive will find their niche in the travel-related content and information that come before and after the booking is done. We couldn't see any ads on the site and are not sure of the business model, but listings could definitely be one and lead generation could be another. All in all, Arrive is a novel concept which could bring freshness into the whole travel-related segment. However, the venture is not alone. Tripadvisor, Ixigo and MyGola, etc. are already operating in the segment.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)