San Francisco startup MyTab has created a service that allows people to gift their friends money towards trips.
Company founder Heddi Cundle said the service, which has tied up with PayPal to provide payment systems and Expedia to provide travel content, could lead to less price-focused travel decisions.
“There is no loyalty in online travel and people are spending days looking for the lowest price,” Cundle said. “Last minute prices totally deter us because the costs go through the roof. Using and redeeming reward miles have so many restrictions and blackouts and miles plus money cost a third more anyway.”
“So what MyTab is doing is taking it right back to the core. Not creating a great place to find deals, not making a great place to make recommendations – we are going back to the core of the problem which is price.”
The MyTab.co service uses social media both as a way of marketing to new users and allowing existing users to share their travel wish lists, helping them encourage friends to contribute to their travel fund.
The company is still in its early stages and has been running beta testing over the last few weeks, but Cundle hopes to start expanding soon.
She said MyTab will create landing pages for everything from weddings to school trips to identify the most lucrative travel markets.
She has also begun fundraising. Cundle said bootstrapping has kept her focused and motivated so far but she now hopes to raise between $1.5 million and $2 million, based on good user numbers and strong dwell time – the average is around 16 minutes.
Once MyTab has secured its funding, Cundle said she hopes to roll the service out to the UK and Australian markets.