The bolder, bigger and borderless third season of the Visa Innovation Program is steadily moving ahead. All participants are vigorously working on their innovative solutions, and we continue to present them in more detail.
Today, we introduce two promising fintechs from Greece. The first one is Welcome Pickups, which goes above and beyond the commoditized transfer service to deliver a holistic, in-destination travel experience. The second startup is RoadCube – a loyalty as a service platform where companies can create loyalty systems and synergies with a simple registration and users can use these loyalty schemes via 1 user account.
Welcome Pickups team believes that the travel experience is broken. For the traveler, each trip needs to be memorable and the experience should start from the moment they land at the airport. For the travel industry, there is a lack of quality, trustworthy partners in the traveler mobility vertical, who can offer a fair-priced solution that focuses on the traveler.
From the moment a traveler arrives at a new destination until they return home, Welcome Pickups accommodates all their travel needs (transfers, travel products, things to do, information) through a user-friendly and personalized solution. Travelers can book their transfers or sightseeing rides directly through their website and mobile app or through Welcome Pickups’ integrated partnerships with hotels, web affiliates, airlines, and others. The partners enjoy access to white-label pages, personalized dashboards, and features such as live transfer tracking, driver contact details, and earnings reports.
Why is this important?
Welcome Pickups’ team has taken a commoditized product – the A to B transfer- and has transformed it into a travel experience. In whichever airport or city you arrive in, Welcome Pickups can offer the easiest, most personalized, and friendliest way to get around, while being on your side for any information you might need. When it comes to Welcome Pickups’ partners, they help them improve their customer experience while boosting their revenue.
In order to learn even more intriguing insights, our team met with Welcome Pickups’ founders for a quick “founder blitz”.
1. What inspired you to start Welcome Pickups?
We strongly believe that travel should be stress-free. When you travel somewhere you want to connect with the locals and maximize your time there. By building Welcome Pickups, we offer an easy way to connect with a local driver the moment you arrive who can act like your destination ambassador and provide the feeling of being picked up by a friend. With tailored recommendations, sightseeing rides, and by providing assistance whenever required, Welcome Pickups drivers can elevate your first impression of a new destination.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established Welcome Pickups?
Definitely the COVID effect on international travel. At the beginning of 2020, we found ourselves – in a matter of a few weeks – from an explosive growth path to almost no business at all. This continued for many months until a steady recovery started in May 2021. Of course, this prolonged crisis led to many changes internally and required a lot of smart moves to survive. We hope that the crisis is behind us and we can’t wait to return to high growth numbers in the months ahead.
2. What is your next big milestone?
To expand fast globally, without compromising any of the characteristics that set us apart in the market. We are already in 65 destinations and 32 countries, having serviced more than 1 million travelers in 2019. We see that as only the beginning, with hundreds of potential destinations to expand to, until we can claim that wherever you go Welcome Pickups is there. Apart from global expansion, another concrete big milestone is to surpass our 2019 numbers by a landslide in 2022, as people return to international travel.
4. What does success look like for Welcome Pickups?
We live by our customer reviews. We have taken a commoditized service and turned it into a must-have travel experience. More than 95% of our customers leave a 5-star review and share with us the great joy of having used Welcome Pickups. We have the highest ratings not only in our segment but even compared to most travel businesses out there and that is what keeps us going. Our goal now is to be the global leader in what we do and to become a necessity when you plan your next trip.
Companies of all sizes invest billions to achieve customer retention and reduce the customer acquisition cost. They have to deal with software development costs, a lot of different providers and spend a lot of time and effort trying to enhance their KPIs.
RoadCube is a platform where companies can create all the available loyalty and synergy systems combinations without writing a code and synchronize all their physical or online stores using IoT tech (no integrations) with a flat monthly fee.
Why is this important?
RoadCube is a plug-and-play solution, so it can provide the same advanced tools either to a big corporate business or to a small or medium-sized business. The team takes the knowledge and experience from big loyalty systems they created for corporates and parsed these tools into IoT devices that can run successful strategies and methods for all businesses worldwide.
Meet RoadCube’s founder and learn more about their vision and the next milestones for the company in our “founder blitz”.
1. What inspired you to start RoadCube?
I was inspired to start RoadCube after seeing the big struggle that companies face to create their own strategy with the available tools. Loyalty or synergies should be available as a SaaS platform where companies can make changes and personalize it according to their needs in the same way as they do with WordPress for websites.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have come against since you established RoadCube?
The biggest challenge is to explain to SMEs how important is a loyalty program for them.
2. What is your next big milestone?
Our next big milestone is to expand to more European countries.
4. What does success look like for RoadCube?
We want to be the #1 solution for businesses of all sizes to create their loyalty scheme.