HipWay and HipClub: launch, obtaining investments, drawing of 37 REWORK books

    April 15th, we talked about the launch of the HipWay catalog of unusual travels in this post . As promised, we will talk about the future fate of HipWay, and about the new service - HIPCLUB .

    During the time that has passed since the previous post, events developed rapidly. The most important news is that HipWay managed to attract investments. It was a long and complicated process, but in the end a pool was formed of several investors from America and Europe who invested more than five hundred thousand dollars in the project.

    Under the cut, we talk about everything in more detail, and also play 37 REWORK books among people who registered on the new service using the link from Habrahabr.

    One of the main lessons - it turned out that we will not work with Russian venture investors, since they do not follow the idea of ​​venture financing as such, and they say phrases like “we don’t give money if you are going to spend it on advertising” or want to get 65% business for $ 100 thousand, and so on. Western investors are ready to invest only in tracing papers of world business models known to them. So if you raise money, immediately think of a brand - “We are the Russian Groupon”, “We are the Russian Expedia”, and success will be much more likely.

    It just so happened that HipWay is completely different from any Western counterpart, and we spent several months proving that the model is viable. Then we found the “original” way out. On April 15, we launched HipWay in test mode, as a closed site with registration, by invitation only. For HipWay, this made little sense, just a traffic limiter for the testing period, but it turned out that closed travel clubs were one of the hot topics on the world’s Internet. The inventor of the model is the French company Voyage Privegrowing by hundreds of percent per year, and already has several clones. Thus, along with the development of HipWay, we have appropriated the brand “Russian Voyage Prive” and started making HIPCLUB. Investors immediately said "Well, this is a completely different matter" :) and the issue of raising money began to be solved much more positively.

    What is a closed travel club? You probably know kupiVIP, which sells all sorts of Prada and Ed Hardy at big discounts? So this is the same idea implemented in the field of travel. The user receives 5-8 offers every week from hotels and tour operators with a discount of 30 to 70%, each offer is available for 4-10 days. That's the whole idea.

    Why does it work? All hotels have a load of less than 100% and this is due to both competition and demand fluctuations. For example, Moscow hotels are half-empty on weekends, while Moscow hotels are on weekdays. In Turkey, poor loading in the late autumn, and in the Maldives - in the summer. At the same time, giving discounts to the public is not very profitable, because there are customers who are willing to pay and pay the full cost and providing discounts to them is a loss of money. Travel-club allows hotels to "merge" extra rooms to club members with discounts up to 70%, while continuing to receive the full price from everyone else. Hotels are delighted, members of the club are delighted, everyone loves each other and universal happiness sets in.

    I anticipate questions about why registration and closed games. In this model, closure is necessary legally - the sale at the club is called “private sale” (private sale), which cannot be published on a public website, because then it will become “public sale” (public sale), which will not allow the hotel to give big discounts , because he has agreements with all sorts of hotels.com to provide them with "the best publicly available price."

    Come and see. We will be happy to answer questions about the project and listen to feedback. We will be very interested in hearing ideas about attracting new club members.

    You can register at http://hipclub.ru/habr.

    Among those registered by reference, we will draw 37 books of REWORK company “37 Signals ”by Mann, Ivanov and Ferber. HipClub sponsored the publication of this book. The book will go to 37 randomly selected from those registered by the link. You will receive an email.

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