How the idea of a Spanish globetrotter became the most innovative service of Airbnb
Gloria Molins He created a platform to connect the inhabitants of a city with travelers. After buying it, Airbnb launched a similar service, Trips, which now arrives in Madrid.
Do you want to explore? © Alamy
Learn the secrets of honey production in a hive and try it later thanks to a family of beekeepers. Explore the charms of the Sierra de Guadarrama with a hiking guide. Discover the traditional Madrid of the hand of a philosopher who loves history.
Those are some of the thirty experiences with which Airbnb Trips, a platform that allows the local population propose activities to tourists, has just premiered in Madrid.
The service, with which the giant of the rental of holiday homes has expanded its field of action, It was already available in 35 destinations around the globe, including Barcelona. 130 hosts offer experiences in Barcelona, where, according to the company itself, the largest number of weekly bookings in the world are concentrated.
It was precisely in the Catalan capital where an adventurous entrepreneur created the Spanish precursor of the search engine Experiences which is part of Airbnb Trips. In 2012 I was born Trip4real with the aim that the travelers had the possibility of knowing the destinations through various activities organized by their own inhabitants, which provided a different perspective of their city. The marketplace Spanish attracted the giant of tourist apartment rental: Airbnb acquired the company a few months ago.
Train with a samurai: strengthen your mind and improve your command of the sword © Airbnb
TRAVELER, ENTREPRENEUR AND DIRECTOR IN AIRBNB
A website where you can have a coffee with someone who tells you what to do in your city. Gloria Molins He toured Southeast Asia when he started creating a page with that goal. He called her Trip4real, the name of your travel blog. Not surprisingly, Molins loved discovering new places for years.
For work or pleasure, this Barcelona who studied Tourism and Advertising and Public Relations has traveled the five continents, moving to Amsterdam, Chicago or India. In fact, before riding Trip4real, worked for a year in Sydney as Head of Marketing and Sales from a company that sold Google products. And from all his adventures he drew a conclusion: he had not lived the most authentic and unforgettable experiences thanks to the guides, but to the people he had met in those places.
So Molins was inspired by traveling. In addition to his experiences, the success of Airbnb also helped him shape his startup. "I told myself: if this can be done with the accommodations, it would be amazing to do it also with the local experiences when you travel, ”detailed the then CEO of Trip4real.
Are you a traveler or tourist? © Trip4Real | Facebook
The Catalan company began offering original alternatives to tourists in Spain, from a tour of the festivities more underground from Barcelona by the hand of a local DJ to a walk through La Pedriza or a private tapas tour of Madrid, according to the proposals of the residents who devised a unique experience so that travelers knew their city.
In eight months and with six workers, the collaborative experience company had 5,000 users willing to pay for these activities, of which Trip4real took a commission. The idea conquered Ferrán Adrià himself, who praised Molins because his project allowed the city will tell "its microhistories" and became one of the first investors.
The following year, the company closed a round of financing of one million euros led by the Spanish venture capital firm Kibo Ventures and by Caixa Capital Risc. In 2015, it raised 1.4 million euros to continue its global expansion.
The idea of a lover traveling the world thus became a company that It offered 3,000 experiences in some 70 cities for its more than 40,000 users. That was his situation when, in September of last year, the giant Airbnb, with whom he had already signed a collaboration agreement, decided to buy it for a figure that has not been made official, although it is estimated that ranged between 5 and 10 million euros.
Welcome to the world of trips, Barcelona! pic.twitter.com/O9ZYhs6gQw- Gloria Molins (@molinsg) February 28, 2017
FROM HOLIDAY RENTAL HOLIDAY RENTALS TO FULL TRAVEL AGENCY
Just a couple of months after buying Trip4realBrian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, announced the launch of Trips, a program created with the mission of gathering “Where do you stay, what do you do and the people you meet in one place”.
Chesky made it clear that with that platform, on which he had been working for two years, Airbnb was no longer an app in which we can find accommodation (a service not without controversy), to become a complete travel agency on-line Where to also plan our leisure time.
The Trip4real website has closed, but its founder, Gloria Molins, has taken on the task of leading Trips in the region EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Since its launch in 12 cities, the division has not stopped growing. In Spain, upon arrival first in Barcelona and recently in Madrid, Seville will be added, scheduled for the end of the year.
Learn the steps of dancing by a young man in London, immortalize the natural wonders of Nairobi with the help of a local photographer or learn to handle the sword like a samurai with the choreographer of Kill Bill These are some of the 2,500 experiences that we can already book, directed by individuals, tour guides and travel agencies.
From the company, valued, they have indicated that, judging by the first data, the business of Trips could even exceed that of the accommodations in the future.
So it seems clear that the plan of Airbnb for the inhabitants of a place to offer alternative plans to tourists, an idea that has already occurred to a Spanish entrepreneur who now occupies a position of responsibility in the company, is one of its great bets so that, little by little, we organize our trips without leaving your app.