Boarding PassTravaxy is on a mission to transform travel providers into accessibility experts
Travaxy is on a mission to transform travel providers into accessibility experts
The company has raised a total of $570,000 to help with accessibility during the planning of travel arrangements
“The idea came from my personal experience and pain, problems I encountered throughout my travels in the world over the years as a person with a disability,” said Lioz Amar, CEO and Founder of Travaxy. “There is a big difficulty and complexity in planning all the elements of a trip in order to make it accessible. There is a huge frustration and disappointment when the lack of accessibility overcomes your expectations.”
Amar became a paraplegic after being wounded in 2001 during his army service. Travaxy was founded in 2018 as a way to standardize the travel process for those with disabilities. To date, the company has received funding from Mediterranean Towers Ventures and angel investors.
“Travaxy is forming a singular global standardization and tailored distribution, where travel sellers can provide proper services to support their specific customer's disability needs, and assisted travelers can find and book all their travel arrangements with certainty,” he added.
Company Name: Travaxy Accessible Travel Solutions
Sector: Mobility, Healthcare
Travaxy is a B2B tech company empowering travel providers to serve senior and disabled travelers equally. Travaxy is forming a singular global standardization, and tailored distribution (think Hotelbeds meets Tripadvisor), where travel sellers can provide proper services to support their specific customer's disability needs, and assisted travelers can find and book all their travel arrangements with certainty.
The high-level overview includes:
- Signed contracts with an airline, a tour operator, and a global travel agency chain incorporating 500 branches (and more on a waitlist)
- Fully operational API and a SaaS platform
- Dozens of assisted travelers experiences with 100% trip satisfaction
- Winner of the UNWTO - Sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the category of reducing inequalities
- Microsoft AI-for-good accelerator alumni - won $120k in server hosting and AI support
Lioz Amar: accessibility travel expert. The CEO and founder of Travaxy, accessible travel solutions. During years as a disabled person who wanted to travel the world like everyone else, he stumbled across multiple barriers that could have been avoided. From his own experience and difficulties, Travaxy was born (in the middle of 2019 when it was soft-launched). The team started to build a one-of-a-kind, easy automatic B2B solution for travel providers that transforms them into accessibility experts and allows them to serve the biggest and fastest-growing minority in the world properly.
“I am 42 years old, married to Nataly, and a proud father to 6-year-old Amit. I am a paraplegic, an IDF veteran who got wounded in 2001 during my army service, which included commanding and rookie instructing and field missions at the military police forces. During my rehabilitation at the pool, I learned to function with my injury. I learned to swim and loved the feeling in the water when I didn't need any extra devices; I felt free and didn't stop swimming since. A few months later, I won first place in the Israeli championship in my category and won second place in the German championship. I was accepted into the Olympic team and represented Israel at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic games, ranked top 8 in the world. I got my diploma as a swimming instructor and coach from the Wingate Institute for physical education and sports on my way to Beijing.”
Elad Leibovich: A senior travel-Tech executive with extensive experience managing cross-functional teams and projects in a dynamic environment. Worked for various travel companies such as hotels, travel wholesalers, travel agencies consortium, global GDS, a market-leading BI company, and co-founded a travel tech startup.
Michall Benassayag: Co-founder of Travaxy, accessible travel solutions. His work experience includes the B2C field as a regional manager of Issta - the biggest travel company in Israel. During that period, he managed 24 branches, oversaw over 100 employees, and sales cycles of over 100 million dollars per year. After Issta, he worked for Amadeus Israel. Amadeus is one of the biggest travel corporations in the world and Amadeus Israel is well known for its innovations for the local and global branches.
“I was in charge of the operation which included the help desk support and the training of the local market. I joined Travaxy because I understood the potential, from over 20 years of experience, that the global travel industry totally neglected one of the most profitable and untouched travel sectors.”
Year of Founding: 2018
Last Investment Round: $100,000
Last Investment Stage: Seed
Date of Last Investment: November 2022
Total investment to date: $570,000
Investors (leading and all): Mediterranean Towers Ventures and angels
Current number of employees: 6
Open positions: Next year
How was the idea born?
The idea came from my personal experience and pain, problems I encountered throughout my travels in the world over the years as a person with a disability.
There is a big difficulty and complexity in planning all the elements of a trip in order to make it accessible. There is a huge frustration and disappointment when the lack of accessibility overcomes your expectations.
What is the need for the product?
The main pain points:
- Travel agencies/OTAs are NOT accessibility experts. They can’t define disability types and specific customer needs.
- No standardization nor a single source of truth. Lack of data is the main problem (ADA/ ISO limited info).
- Hotels don’t understand neither the specific needs nor this market segment’s business opportunity. Exposed to bad reviews, bad publicity, and lawsuits.
- Data distribution is a broken chain, Hotels-airlines-transport-Airport has tech stuck in the ’90s.
- Airlines/Ground handling teams don’t know what to expect - causing inefficiency for the teams and discomfort for the traveler
- Transportation and attractions: Hotels have difficulties servicing their customers with accurate info and reservations
How is it changing the market?
Travaxy is a B2B tech company empowering travel providers to serve senior and disabled travelers equally. Travaxy is forming a singular global standardization and tailored distribution, where travel sellers can provide proper services to support their specific customer's disability needs, and assisted travelers can find and book all their travel arrangements with certainty.
How big is the market for the product and who are its main customers?
Senior travelers in need of assistance, and the biggest and fastest-growing minority in the world, 1.2 billion people have disabilities, and 650 million live in developed countries.
Before the Covid pandemic, in 2019, only in the U.S. and Europe alone, this market was valued at $70 billion annually.
Does the product exist already? If not - at what stage is it and when is it expected to hit the market?
Yes, the product exists already.
Travaxy transforms, through APIs and SaaS solutions, travel providers into accessibility experts automatically and without prior knowledge.
With Travaxy, any online or offline travel provider can become an accessibility expert in seconds, thanks to the unique technologies.
Travaxy's APIs/SaaS solutions enable offline/online travel providers to book a worry-free holiday, flight-Airline accessibility notifications, and accommodation offered by specific disability type/s/ and needs, automatically and in seconds instead of hours and sometimes days.
Who are the main competitors in this sector and how big are they?
The main competitors are Handiscover and WheelTheWorld, who are not even direct competition - they are B2C and B2B2C and service only mobility impairments.
Travaxy is the only pure B2B solution in the Traveltech market and the only one that provides over 90 accessibility parameters and serves multiple disability types such as Electric wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, general mobility options for seniors, and helps for hearing/visual impairment.
What is the added value that the founders bring to the company and the product?
The Travaxy team of Lioz, Michael, Nir, Elad, and Raizy brings the company product much relevant Knowledge and experience.
- An ex-Paralympic swimmer with 20+ years of experience in accessible travel and project management.
- An ex-Sabre/Fornova business development expert with 15+ years of experience in global travel-tech companies (corporates & an ex-travel startup co-founder)
- An ex-Amadeus/Issta marketing and operations director with 25+ years of experience in the travel industry
- An entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience in all stages of entrepreneurship, from the early stage through corporate financials, design, and development.
What will the money coming in from the round be used for?
The money from this round will be used for:
- R&D - a more exciting and technical ML solution that automates more processes.
- Collaborations and connecting customers on our waitlist.
- Increasing the data to tens of thousands of accommodations
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