2013 was the year our team had to respond to two questions:
- Would the tourism sector accept a service that provided information solely on what there was to do in a particular location during specific dates?
- Would it be possible to organize this abundance of digital information on the web?
It was also the year to conceptualize and build the basic design that could be shown to clients, which was solely a simple search engine which included filters for date and location, that would then return with results based on these two categories.
Yes, it’s true, the first Smartvel office was indeed a garage, literally, with cars parked about a 1 meter away from our desks.
Mid-2014, with the help of SEGITTUR, CDTI and private investors, 13 IT engineers joined the team to optimize the development of the data processing system and to construct the first basic design that could be shown to clients.
From an autoclave manufacturing plant turned into a start-up incubator, we began to understand the needs of the tourism industry, building solutions that took advantage of our gold mine: the data on what there was to do in a specific location on specific dates.
The roof-top office phase!
These first sales made us stand up among a few clients and allowed us to gain a few big clients, and for Caixa Capital Risc and ALSA to invest capital by the end of the year which gave the Company a new push. In December 2015, at last, we set up in a nice top-floor office in downtown Madrid and everything became new: new offers, new versions, new deployments, new clients, new segments, new locations, new ideas, new countries.
A long road await us. We are dreaming big and we hope to become the global reference for those travelers that ask themselves ¨What can I do, WHEN I travel in X PLACE?¨ X place standing for anywhere in the world.
It’s time to go international!
The City of Buenos Aires, Melia Hotels & Resorts and ALD Automotive are some of the big names, well recognised outside of Spain, that have begun to use Smartvel content and tool during the second half of 2016.
We finished off 2016 having content available in over 80 destinations with commercial delegations in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Zurich (Switzerland), London (UK), Bangkok (Thailand) Santiago (Chile) and Sydney (Australia).
Vice President Latin America
Asia Pacific Business Development
VP Business Development for Central Europe