Interview with Trafluence, Online Travel Marketplace in Hong Kong
Tell us about Tranfluence and what inspired you to start it.
We are a bunch of travel addicts with the vision to empower others to do the same. Trafluence is an online marketplace reflecting the rising trend of the sharing economy and how people travel. We aim to connect tourism-dependent service providers with talented and influential travellers around the world. Not only can adventurers get discounts and perks from performing or working at the hostels/restaurants, businesses will benefit from the travellers’ skills, and increased social media exposure globally.
What stage of development are you at right now?
We are currently in the prototyping stage and working closely with our users to refine our UX design. A number of service providers around the world have shown interest in collaborating with us and we have connected with talented performers internationally.
What are the hardest components to launching your project?
Since our business model consists of a double-sided market (travellers and service providers), the most challenging aspect of launching Trafluence can be described as the “chicken and egg” dilemma. However, we aim to overcome this by strategically scaling the community geographically with a user-focus approach.
We just recently returned from the EYE Program trip to Silicon Valley, where we visited Google headquarters in Mountain View, startups, accelerators such as Plug and Play and Wearable World, as well as met with investors there. We learnt a lot on pitching, built stronger relationships with our peers, and are more motivated to accelerate the development of our business after that one-week trip. There are going to be some busy months ahead as we aim to launch our prototype by the end of this year to a small circle of hand-picked users. Their interaction and feedback will be critically analysed to enhance our next round of testing. We will also be filming the exchange process for marketing purposes.
What does the name of your company mean? How did you come up with the name?
Trafluence came from our tagline – “Travel with influence”. We want people to travel through utilising their social network influence as well as making a difference wherever they go.
How has EYE Program helped you with this project?
The EYE Program has helped us to solidify our business ideas and focus. We learned the business of a startup and fundamentals of UX design. Moreover, we improved our pitching skills through the training and pitching sessions based on valuable feedback from mentors and judges. The visits to accelerators and investors during the trip in Silicon Valley also helped us grow tremendously. Most importantly, we built good connections and are glad to be inspired and supported by other program participants and mentors.
- Cynthia Cheung
- Edward Leung
- Ryan Lee