Dallas-based Traxo is a travel startup that allows users to keep track of all of their rewards programs, organize trip itineraries, and connect with friends, all in one convenient dashboard. With record traffic last week, co-founder Andres Fabris is confident his startup is on the rise.
The idea for Traxo originated in 2003. Andres was working for Sabre Holdings on business development and started noticing some interesting trends.
“The number of travel booking sites was dramatically increasing – so much so that big names started acquiring regional, affiliate, and other brands. Soon, there was over 10k sites to book travel. This sounds great for the consumer but what ended up happening is that people would have their travel information fragmented in different places, making it hard for them to keep track of it and earn enough rewards points before they expire.”
Seeing this, he teamed up with fellow Sabre employees Andy Chen and Richard Pendergast to build the first version of Traxo. At the time, it was simply a travel aggregator that allowed users to pull in all their travel information. Now, its a robust travel platform that helps users manage their plans and socialize with fellow travelers.
Upon logging in through Facebook, Traxo users connect their account to over 40 leading travel sites – including airlines, hotels, car rentals, and travel agencies – and Traxo will automatically aggregate their information about reservations, loyalty points, and more. From there, users can share their information with friends, earn travel badges, and receive rewards from advertisers based on their travel experiences.
The Traxo team consists of 15 people that are headquartered in CoHabitat. The growth hasn’t come without pains however. Andres spoke in-depth on obtaining funding for a B2C startup in Dallas.
“The process has been a bit surprising because when we first started, I made a mental list of what our biggest challenges will be. We’d have to build the team, build the technology, prove thats its a large market, get the fundraising, figure out all the legal stuff, the business model, all that stuff. I had no idea that one of the biggest problems was going to be the location of the business. The fact that we’re based in Dallas with the current B2C focus and early-stage nature has been pretty tough.”
It is a story I have heard from Dallas entrepreneurs over and over again. The Dallas investment community is not quick to support B2C companies, nor companies that are early-stage. West Coast investors are the exact opposite, supporting both, however most usually want the companies to move to the Valley if they want any investment.
Despite the struggle, Traxo has managed to raise money from the local Angel community and Andres believes the setbacks will help them in the long-run.
“Fundraising has been challenging, but it hasn’t been something that has greatly affected the business process. I’m highly confident that it’ll work toward our benefit because we’ll have built a deep product in terms of functionality and proven it out with minimal dollars. So when we do go out for fundraising we’ll be in a better position.”
Moving forward, the Traxo team is going to continue to invest in their product at the same rate they have been, but increase the focus on customer acquisition with hopes of gaining nationwide traction by the end of the year.
To sign up for Traxo, go to Traxo.com
To learn more about Traxo, visit their blog, follow them on Twitter @traxo, or like their Facebook Page.
To connect with Andres, follow him on Twitter at @andresfabris or LinkedIn.