NOAH12 San Francisco – Cheapflights, Hugo Burge

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Afternoon everyone, hi. My name is you go from cheap flights Media. I’d like to thank Marco You’re a mignon for having me here today to allow me to introduce cheap flights to you We’ve got two brands under the cheap flights Media umbrella We’ve got one company called cheap flights and another one called Mondo and I think at this point It might just be worth starting with a little bit of our company history So cheap flights is actually a bit of an old-timer in terms of internet brands in Europe We founded in nineteen ninety six by a travel journalist called John hat and he had one very simple idea and that was to make travel search better and allow people to find the hidden flight deals that they were unable to find before and he Reinvented flights classified advertising and pioneered the idea of having the widest range of flight deals on a website and it was extremely popular, and I was involved in buying that website offerman in March two thousand and the reason why I’ve got this rather bizarre diagram up here is because I wanted to show [that] we’ve Evolved from being a very bootstrapped company into one that today is moving very quickly When John hat founded the company and he even toyed the point of that is we’ve never raised any external funds So we’ve never had any external investors from the beginning of time involved in cheap flights so John hat in fact was so bootstrapped he said he couldn’t afford to meet for three years and [he] never took on any external finance. It was pure sweat equity building up the company I was lucky enough to buy the company often with some other investors in 2003. We then grew out of very boring league growing traffic growing sales growing profits every year for seven for seven years we were in the tech track 100 fastest growing companies in the uk and the only company to be there for seven years We then graduated to the prophet track 100 and then last year was a seminal year for us. We made an acquisition of mamando Which was transformative for our business, and there’s kind of whet our appetite to move faster And we didn’t take any dilution when we bought that company. We actually borrowed some money. Which was a bit frightening We had to prioritize profitability, but it’s been exciting adventure and today we feel like we’re moving faster than ever In terms of how we sit in the marketplace. This is my ridiculously over simplified view of travel Media It’s a hugely inspiring sector to be in Travel is one of the largest sectors on the Internet Fantastic value creating opportunity and advertising and lead generation is one of the most profitable sectors of that So it’s kind of the confluence of two really exciting sectors. I see three very broad sort of pillars of this sector. There’s deals publishing which is kind of classified advertising made friendly for consumers which I see cheap flights very much part of a pioneer in that space in snotty six are the Companies at Travelzoo, and Sherman’s travel. There’s Metasearch Which is um and that kind of is born out of a kind of journalistic heritage curation of deals quite? Editorially led and then there’s metasearch Which is far more technologically driven companies with technology in their DnA? Doing live availability searches across as many different platforms as possible to bring back live results And my [mondo] [is] within that Alongside Kayak and Trivago which melt he was talking about previously and then kind of destination guides and reviews and a social pillar sharing of information and guides to places and We’re pretty unfashionable in this sector actually we focus on flights and flights is the most uncool place to be at the moment but I’m delighted that we actually have two different business models which are profitable within flights cheap flights as profitable and Mamando is profitable within this area, and we see plenty of room for growth after all actually flights is the biggest online sector It doesn’t mean to say I don’t like things like hotels and cruises and car. I we love them Just haven’t got around to them yet So in terms of a product overview so cheap flights is is a marketplace for the widest range of flight deals It’s a cost-per-click bidding model. We’re partners can can get more traffic By paying more and having a stronger brand we have six million newsletters with travel deals in Our tilly about one innovation, we’ve just had their we’ve think it’s a first to market we’ve just launched a mo website which only delivers leads to Companies who have online bookings on a smartphone format And I think I think that’s great use of experience and great for companies so its lead generation Purely on mobile which seems to have had a healthy start, and then there’s mamando which is a market-leading flights metasearch business Recent this year won the stiff tongue [warren] test in Germany which I don’t know whether you’ve heard of that But it’s a consumer testing organization which in the uk. There’s which and Not sure about in the us, but it’s a it’s a very very Stiff test and it proved them a mondo has the best fares in the market which we were very excited to beat out local partners on but [Monday] also has it has it has a great has a great brand it has And it has some really innovative products they’ve recently started focusing on more intelligent flight search they say it’s the next generation of flight search, and they’ve got a New product which is called the convenience Balancer which allows you to find out the perfect balance between price and the length of your flight Which I think is a great innovation And there’s more to come on that kind of intelligence which I think is new to market it’s great to see innovation happening in a space route some people think is a bit flat and dead and They also have some great. They’ve got a new angle on consumer generated content They’ve got something called the ambience guides and their coding reviews by color which is a really [exciting] way of navigating this huge amount of information on the web So you can have luxurious purple Mainstream is yellow Vibrant is and Edgy is pink So you can kind of suddenly sift through different reviews and find things that are right for the mood you’re in Which I think is really exciting Ok to a few fun factoids about the company I think they’re fun you may not think they’re fun but here’s a few facts so so this year and we had around 60 million dollars in Revenue, and 26 million Dollars in Ebitda Arguably sort of too Profitable we should be investing more which is my focus now to accelerate Growth So year-over-year growth really you can see a focus on Ebitda last year I think that was because we’re a bit nervous about taking on debt funding so we kind of fermier that the banks are really friendly at first and then they got mean and So we focused on paying down the debt and being very profitable. We’ve got something I’m proud of is we’ve got a great geographic spread in March two thousand when I joined the business We were my dream was to create an international travel media business [I] think we’ve done that I think the dream now is to create a Global Travel Media business Or the leading global travel media business and the key Growth markets for us and now Russia Which are really excited about them potentially the biggest market in Europe scandinavia and Canada and Australia said pretty well diversified new Growth markets and Newsletters, we’re seeing an extremely strong growth in that area for cheap flights We’re up twenty percent over the last six months from five million 26 million newsletters That’s another big area for us and perhaps one of the things I’m most exciting the business about as a whole Loyalty is is is a very rare thing on the internet and any consumer product and my mondo has fantastic Loyalty and Fantastic direct uses eighty percent of people who come to a mondo through google a typing in my mondo, which is really powerful Which brings me on to my sort of last slide? I guess which [is] why am I here why by flying flown 12 hours to come here and come over to the west coast of America I guess I’m more than anything. It’s to it to find partners who can help? Imagine discovering an end to Where’s that moved? anyway, well to find partners who can help us in our international expansion and also to get the word out about cheap flights in my Monday And in that vein I would like to I’d like to end on it on it on a TV advert for my Monday at least I got a captive audience. I may as well spread the word this is their latest TV advert from last year Which is a little bit grown up compared to others, but I’ll see what you like it Can actually discovering a new continent? The news is French way across the world inspiring us [to] travel and explore something new finding each other again Has been discovered but it’s waiting to be explored Find your travel La mano Com So one of our one of our goals is to make mando into a global brand So TV advertising is important part of that We’ve only really done it in some of the nordic markets so far And [I’ll] leave you with one more TV advert which brings a bit more scandinavian fruitiness To the table and that they’re very creative in scAndinavia, and this is the kind of thing that gets them excited the World Sure advice Gt. Is on momondo.com. So you don’t spend it on the flight. They can splash it on the night Grant well there we go and thanks very [much] for having me and look forward to meeting anybody who wants to help us

 

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