Trevolta creates travel crowdfunding platform

South African startup Trevolta has created a crowdfunding platform raising money for people to undertake worldwide travel.

Trevolta chief executive officer (CEO) of Mark Karimov said Trevolta intends to make travel more accessible, and allows people to make their travel dreams into reality through crowdfunding.

“The idea is to make travels more accessible to people. It’s not a secret that most people don’t travel because it’s expensive. At Trevolta we allow people to raise funds for their travels using crowdfunding and sponsorships. Friends, family, inspired people can back the trip and make it a reality,” Karimov said.

Karimov said while people may not be particularly willing to donate funds for straightforward beach holidays, proposed trips with a meaning or a personal story inevitably attract attention and the necessary funding.

“Crowdfunding is growing at a rapid pace and these days you can raise funds pretty much for anything. If you do it right,” he said.

“Surely travel is not the easiest thing to raise funds for – generally people wouldn’t back someone who just want to take a vacation. That’s why we encourage our travellers to tell the story – explain why they do what they do, what is the meaning behind their travel.

“Some travels are really inspirational and travellers go on a journey not for themselves, but for other people – volunteering, charity, etc. Mostly travels are not about destination, it’s about the process, about the impact and about making a difference either on your life or in someone else’s.”

According to Karimov, technology is unlocking new possibilities across all industries, and travel is no exception to this phenomenon.

“Technology is a tool that constantly changes and unlocks more and more possibilities in many industries. Five years ago everyone thought you need big bucks to make a movie, record an album or go on around-the-world travel,” he said.

“Today technology allows us to raise funds for all of that and more – connect with people and tell your story. Every new invention once used in unusual way uncovers new possibilities. Crowdfunding for travellers is one of those stories.”

Karimov also said technology makes the world a smaller and more private place, by connecting people across the world.

“[Technology] makes it [the world] a much cooler place that’s for sure. Smaller – in a way,” Karimov said.

“It may make it smaller, but by doing that it makes it more personalised, more private – it gives a previously big world an identity and rules by which you must play in order to be successful in this world. Everything and everyone get connected, and once we’re connected, we can share. It’s a sharing economy era.”

Since launching in beta in January this year, Trevolta has already attracted 436,000 users, and has raised seed funding of ZAR850,000 (US$79,000) to date.

While the company has been earning revenues since its launch, Karimov admits Trevolta still has a long road ahead, although insisting the vision of making travel accessible to anyone will not change.

“We will always stick to our vision – to make travels cheaper and accessible to everyone, so unless we find some gold mine, we will stick to finding the ways to increase our success stories,” Karimov said.

“Even after finding gold in a mine we’re still probably going to fund some trips with it. Because nothing that you buy actually makes you richer – only travels.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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