Dear Travala.com Community,
A few days ago we said adios to 2020 and a hugely-anticipated aloha to 2021. From lockdowns to mass protests, ravaging natural disasters to the largest economic recession in almost a century, it was a year that even the likes of Nostradamus couldn’t have predicted. While 2020 will be forever ingrained in our memories for all the wrong reasons, the new year comes as a collective sigh of relief and brings with it a welcome light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Despite the challenges posed by the calamitous 366 days just gone (which really felt closer to double or triple in length), we recorded a monumental year at Travala.com. Our mission — to enhance the travel booking experience with blockchain technology — took giant strides last year, strides which would not have been possible without you. As we take a look back on our achievements in the last 12 months, we are humbled by the support of our wonderful community and acknowledge that, without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
First, a quick snapshot of some key figures. Though the world was locked down for much of the year, we managed to record our strongest performance to date. In total, our annual revenue grew by 5x year-on-year to over US $5,000,000 in 2020, with monthly revenues in December alone in excess of US $1,000,000. As travel restrictions ease, we eagerly look forward to servicing many more travellers in 2021.
The increase in sales can be attributed, in part, to our significantly expanded travel product offering. Our M&A deal with Binance and the strategic merger with TravelbyBit in May saw us add the much-anticipated Flights feature, allowing travellers to book domestic and international flights globally via 600+ airlines. The following quarter we added Homes, which comprises over 1,000,000 houses, apartments, villas, cottages, and alternative accommodations in 195 countries. By Q4 we had announced Tours and Activities, which will enable travellers to select from hundreds of thousands of tours and experiences across the globe in the coming months. Travala.com is becoming a true champion of cryptocurrency adoption at a global scale!
The partnerships we forged last year also played a major role in helping us provide you with a greater range of travel options. These included major industry leaders Expedia, Priceline, and Agoda, as well as travel suppliers GRNConnect, Restel and Hotusa, and Ratehawk. As a result, the total number of our travel products swelled from around 2,000,000 to well over 3,000,000 across 230 countries and territories worldwide.
Not only did we bolster our travel catalogue, we rewarded many of you for your loyalty through our Smart Program. Participation in the program reached new heights in 2020, with over 10,000,000 AVA locked up as part of the program, representing approximately 22% of the circulating supply. We even made the Smart Program more attractive, boosting the bonus yield to 24% APY.
We also brought travel to the tap of your finger with the launch of the Travala.com mobile app, added over 15 new cryptocurrencies to our selection of payment options, and raised more than US $2,500,000 across two equity crowdfunds, welcoming over 1,300 of you to our family of investors.
It goes without saying that 2020 was a difficult and uncertain year, with twists and turns abound. But, in the midst of it all, we hope it was one that you’re able to take some solace from. Whether it was learning a new skill, spending precious time with your loved ones, or taking a moment to reconnect with yourself, we sincerely wish for those positives to multiply for you in 2021.
As for us at Travala.com, we’ll continue improving, expanding, listening, innovating and adapting so that we can provide you with the best travel experience possible. With an already existing and rapidly expanding user base we are now positioned to launch more decentralized use cases that grow our ecosystem and create real change in the online travel booking industry.
Big things are on the horizon, and as we board the new year for takeoff, we couldn’t be happier to have you by our side on this thrilling journey.
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy new year.
Juan Otero, Travala.com CEO