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    Freshworks, Zoho co-founders invest in bootstrapped travel start-up PickYourTrail

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    Freshworks, Zoho co-founders invest in bootstrapped travel start-up PickYourTrail

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    Chennai-based travel website, Pickyourtrail.com, is richer by $3 million. The online customised holiday platform has received Series-A funding thanks to investments by Zoho co-founder and GoFrugal CEO Kumar Vembu, Freshworks co-founder and CEO Girish Mathrubootham, iThought founder Shyam Sekhar and Entrust CIO Rajagopal Subramanian.

    Chennai-based travel website, Pickyourtrail.com, is richer by $3 million.
    The online customised holiday platform has received Series-A funding thanks to investments by Zoho co-founder and GoFrugal CEO Kumar Vembu, Freshworks co-founder and CEO Girish Mathrubootham, iThought founder Shyam Sekhar and Entrust CIO Rajagopal Subramanian.
    PickYourTrail did not divulge details on the break-up of individual contributions to its funding of $3 million.
    “There is a massive opportunity in the experience economy, and I am excited to be partnering with PickYourTrail in creating a global vacation planning product,” Vembu, who heads POS firm GoFrugal, said in a statement.
    A statement from Freshworks co-founder, Girish Mathrubootham said, “Many of our employees have been raving about PickYourTrail, and that’s when I decided to back this team.”
    The capital infusion will be used primarily for expanding PickYourTrail’s team in Chennai and enhancing customer acquisition, said the company’s founders.
    “We will require a solid engineering team, and given that we have been bootstrapped, we have been figuring out how to do customer acquisition at zero cost up until now,” Srinath Shankar, co-founder of PickYourTrail told CNBC-TV18.
    The company will set aside a large chunk of the fund towards innovation in the tech space, to make what Srinath calls “moon-shots” — bold, risky experiments with new ideas.
    “Around 30 percent of the investment will be spent towards setting up a great product and team,” said Hari Ganapathy, co-founder, PickYourTrail, “Another 20 to 30 percent would go towards overall marketing spend, and the remaining fund will go towards taking these moon-shots.”
    At present, PickYourTrail’s team of 90 in Chennai will expand to 150 by May. Srinath expects the total headcount to be capped off at 200 by the end of the year. Expansion in terms of operations will see PickYourTrail target tier-2 cities that are seeing a fledgeling market for online travel planning.
    “A large part of travel happens in places like Mysuru, Coimbatore and Jalandar,” said Ganapathy, “However, even in the United States, 53 percent of vacations are still planned face-to-face. So, we know that our model will be a touch-plus-tech model, but with a focus on enabling better experiences.”
    PickYourTrail was founded in 2014 by Ganapathy and Shankar, as a customized online travel planning solution. The website lets travellers pick multiple international destinations to visit, and curates vacation experiences like adventures, F&B, sightseeing and the like.
    As on date, the start-up services over 400 international travel destinations, which the company says make up 96 percent of Indian outbound travel. As part of transitioning to a global brand, the company will begin servicing overseas customers as well. “In the next 2-3 years, you will see us in the top markets of out-bound vacations,” said Ganapathy, signing off.
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