All Things Venture #002

Today we cover AllCall, a travel startup based in NY focused on building a platform for the modern traveler

Hey Everyone - Welcome to All Things Venture. This week in the newsletter we want to share with you all a startup called AllCall based out of New York City. AllCall is a travel startup that provides itineraries curated by modern day tastemakers in 50+ cities all across the world. We spoke with AllCall’s CEO and founder, Natasha Hoshkins, a few weeks ago to understand more about the company, their customers, and what’s next for AllCall. Here’s our quick take:

The Company

  • Idea began in 2017, official launch of the product in 2019

  • Focused on becoming the platform of choice for the modern traveler

  • Trying to initially answer the question of why millennials don’t use travel agents

  • Saw that millennails value a certain set of experiences that weren’t being met in the market today

  • Saw that consumers also valued great design and UX

The Customers

  • The ideal customer for AllCall is your 20 - 30 somethings living in urban US areas (Looking at you New York)

  • They likely value experiences over things, and are more willing to pay $400 for an international flight versus $400 for a pair of common projects

What’s Next

  • AllCall is hiring! And looking for great engineering talent right now, so if that’s you don’t hesitate to reach out

  • Evaluating how to respond to the challenges of COVID-19

  • Creating useful lists of experiences to help users adapt to COVID-19 (i.e places open for takeout, places open for delivery, GoFundMe lists, etc.)

It’ll be interesting to watch AllCall grow over the next few months. Travel is a competitive industry disproportionately affected by COVID-19, but that could be the opportunity that a company like AllCall needs. Our perspective at Apex is that for a company like AllCall to achieve out sized success there are three things that need to be done:

  1. Produce and distribute high quality content like crazy

    We’ve all heard the phrase that cash is king, but in a world where Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and TikTok all allow users to consume content whenever, and from whoever they want exists - at Apex we believe that content is king. Our perspective is that for any travel company to stick out in a crowded industry with saturated digital media channels - the content associated with that travel company’s brand needs to be #1.

  2. Introduce adjacent travel related products that solve customer needs more frequently

    Travel is both an infrequent and luxury purchase for many Americans. The $8 price point AllCall has is extremely helpful for accessibility to consumers, but is it the profit engine that can sustain AllCall’s growth? It’s undoubtedly a challenging question, but answering it could prove material to AllCall’s long term health.

  3. Incorporate aspects of social media into the product

    Yes, social media companies may prove to be the bane of democracy (hopefully not) but they have successfully shown how to attract and retain human attention at scale. Whether it’s vertical scrolling, likes, comments, or tagging - the ability to digitally share and distribute information with our peers is a component that consumer facing digital brands should embrace. A Snapchat like feature that shows current or previous itineraries could be extremely helpful in illustrating what exactly a consumer is purchasing.

That’s all for this week. Let me know your thoughts! If you run or know of a startup that would like to be featured in our newsletter, feel free to drop us a note.

Dez