This year the BTS London offered us great moments like this video, where Dennis Vilovic, CEO of TROOP, was interviewed by Donna Airoldi, from Business Travel News, and explained why is importante to come together.
In it, Dennis announces an investment round of eight million dollars with some very well-known VCs and individuals in the industry. “They will help us to advance on our mission to make organizing a meeting easy for anyone because it’s really a massive problem right now”, explained Dennis.
When questioned about what could have led to this funding, TROOP’s cofounder commented that “the offering today is the same as what we offered four years ago when we were here at the business travel show and won the disrupt award; what we’ve seen now is that with COVID, the impact on how the world is changing – people working from home – where do people meet is a key question.”
“Meeting planning has been a very manual process and very opinion driven, and this today is not enough anymore; you cannot plan a meeting on opinions because of travel restrictions”, he argued. “Last year during the pandemic we managed to triple the business we managed; to sign up a lot of additional large corporation, big names and everyone understood that we are building here a future product, so what we’re selling today is still evolving on a daily basis”.
The next business travel trends
Regarding the sector trends, Dennis explained that “we see some behavioral change; when we started, the typical use case of using our technology were larger meetings, because it’s very difficult bringing all these data points together, but what we see is that the majority of our meetings are small internal meetings. And actually companies will meet more, they will travel more for internal meetings because COVID made us basically work from home and companies have the challenge now to bring their remote workforce together. It’s important to come together, there are certain things we cannot do virtually, so there’s a massive value on bringing people together.”
Besides, he highlighted another trend, which is cluster meetings. “Instead of having one global meeting, you have maybe three four regional meetings which are then connected virtually, so it’s a combination of cluster and hybrid.”
The funding and partners
As regards the funding and some companies such as Spotnana, TROOPs CEO also said that “we share the same vision of an open ecosystem in travel, and I think that’s a big challenge and a big opportunity. We see here that travel historically has been operating in silence, so there’s no flow of data, and no flow of information, which in the end impacts the value for the end user, the customer; that’s what Spotnana is changing. Our technology is built on a microservices ecosystem, which is hundreds of APIs talking to each other, so we can just plug in or plug out whatever we want to do”.
“What we are building is just an ecosystem of integrations which then empowers you as the user to decide which data sources you want to use; maybe which fulfillment service you want to to connect to. Giving that power back to you as the user and changing the way the travel industry is run.”
Evolving roles in the travel industry
The application of technology has results in many areas, and of course, many roles change and are optimized. “Today I think everyone becomes a meeting planner, so the work of the meeting planner will be a very strategic work bringing in new technologies.”
TROOP 2.0: the changes in the near future
Receiving investment raises a lot of expectation, and many people want to know where the funds are going to go. When asked about it, Dennis explained that “our main investment point will be into the product; we have started with something, we have a meeting planning tool today which is used by several large corporations. And what we’ve seen is that a lot of customers ask us to help them, and what we’ll do is to connect to best in class services which can offer these fulfillment services. So we will do technology integrations with service providers that can offer these services and building towards a self-serving, end-to-end meetings management solution.”
If you want to watch the video, click here