Robinhood eyes slice of travel market
Robinhood Travel, a Thai online travel agent platform, aims to gain an 8-10% market share during its first year of operation, and reach the No 2 spot for travel and food platforms in the urban segment over the next 3-5 years.
Thana Thienachariya, chairman of Purple Ventures, said Robinhood Travel, which is slated to launch in February next year, will focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they have been among those hit hardest by the pandemic in the tourism industry.
Purple Ventures is a subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank and the operator of the Robinhood platform, which offers food delivery with a zero gross profit (GP) policy for operators.
There are currently around 2,000 hotels nationwide that have already joined during the pre-onboard phase, and the platform aims to have 30,000 hotels by next year.
Robinhood Travel aims to help create 300,000 trips, generating 1 billion baht for the local economy, and save around 200 million baht in commission fees for operators by the end of 2022.
Mr Thana said the zero-commission policy will be applied to hotels in Thailand in the future, but the company will collect GP of less than 10% from other kinds of services, such as overseas hotels, airlines, car rentals or attractions.
Besides domestic tourism, it plans to offer services in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the US and the UK for Thai outbound travellers by mid-2022.
Mr Thana said Robinhood Travel should secure an 8-10% market share or become the No 3 player by the end of next year, while contributing 10% of all Robinhood revenue as the overall platform aims to earn 700-800 million baht by 2022.
Meanwhile, its food platform should rise to No 2 in the urban segment, together with the travel platform, in the next 3-5 years, after gaining a strong customer base of 2.4 million users in Bangkok.
Technology investments next year will cost 300 million baht, with another 100 million baht for marketing the travel business. The company will raise Series A funding by mid-2022.
Robinhood is also conducting research for overseas expansion, particularly in China as it has partners on the mainland.
Mr Thana said the company would like to become a unicorn and a regional super app in order to compete with other foreign platforms in the long run.
"We might not win the fight against big players, but we are a disruptor which could balance the overall market to help SMEs and also initiate discussions among state agencies and operators about commission fees to tackle the industry's pain point," he said.