We were very happy to share an hour of our time with The Moonwalkers telegram channel to have an Ask me anything session. Here is a recap of the questions and answers
Q. Maybe you can tell us in short what you have achieved & experienced in 2019
2019 was a year of significant progress as Travala.com and its native token AVA, laying solid foundations for the future. Among many other key achievements, during 2019, we delivered significant improvements in several key areas. Our platform user interface and user experience are better than ever. We added even more utility to the AVA token such as the Smart Program which offers participants meaningful and liquid travel benefits.
Moreover, we secured capital from leading international investors, migrated from NEO to Binance Chain, rapidly scaled our team, positioned Travala.com as the leading blockchain-based travel booking platform setting ourselves apart from the competition, secured several major partnerships, and grew our user base, traffic and revenues by over 10x, while consistently working hard to promote the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies by becoming the world’s leading cryptocurrency-friendly hotel and accommodation booking service.
Our Vision is just to keep building! We want to align travel booking with the ethos of decentralised technology. Staying hungry is a critical component of our ability to disrupt our industry
Q. “Migrated from NEO to Binance Chain” how did this move come to be? and how happy are you currently on the binance chain?
The main reasons for the migration are that we wanted to improve the token economics of our native token (AVA), while offering faster processing times, better performance and ease of on-chain use of AVA within the platform.
So far we are very happy with the move as we believe we have a much stronger ecosystem now.
Q. AVA is being used to pay for accommodations on the Travala app. You guys have a partnership with Booking.com. I use booking.com pretty often, however this is the first time I personally heard of Travala. Are there any plans to make Travala more known for the less-crypto oriented masses? Let’s say Booking.com sponsor links? Or payments with AVA on booking.com for starters. To make people get used to the token?
Yes, we have plans to go more mainstream however whilst we are perfecting the Travala.com product we are very much focused on solidifying ourselves as the go-to travel booking platform within the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.
Q. I use Travala/Booking as often I can, but find it difficult to find the same amount of accommodations from Travala even if there is a collaboration. Where does this problem originate from?
We’re still working on completing the full integration with Booking as they have over 2.5m properties. It’s a big job but we’ll get there soon with over 80% of their properties already available on Travala.com.
Q. “Secured several major partnerships, and grew our user base, traffic and revenues by over 10x” this is very impressive, especially in these market conditions. How did the bear market affect the project? and how long do you think projects like travala can achieve so much while being “off the radar” in the crypto space? Will the marketing efforts be more focussed on industry or crypto?
The bear market has been hard for all projects however we just keep building and making progress. Our growth has been amazing over the last year and it doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon. Of course, our niche market and where we see us having most impact in the short term is the crypto space.
We have chosen Vietnam as the first country to localise to with local language, local payment methods, and localized marketing. Our tech team, customer support, and infrastructure are ready to target this fast-growing market with a population of over 100 million.
Q. What is your goal in number of bookings for 2020?
We’re targeting over 40,000 room night bookings this year
Q. Are there any further plans for 2020 to strengthen the AVA token? Although it has one of the largest use cases, why does the market cap stay so low atm? (Big Potential)
Yes, we have big plans for AVA this year. Currently, AVA can be used for payments, receiving and redeeming loyalty rewards, and most recently staking among several other use cases. More info about all the use cases can be found here: https://whitepaper.travala.com/#AVA
We will continue to implement new use cases and increase AVA’s proven utility which we hope will then have a significant impact on our market cap.
Q. Any plans to integrate with the major GDS systems like Amadeus, Galileo and Sabre etc?
We already have the ability to integrate with all of the above through our travel tech partner Gimmonix. I am sure this will happen in 2020 but it is not the highest of priorities right now.
Q. From browsing the platform the bonus programs are nice, but i fear there may be a disadvantage to “package deals” other traveling sites offer, will you extend the offer in these areas?
Happy that you mentioned that as we are currently going through an integration with an industry-leading travel partner that we can’t mention right now that will allow us to offer full travel packages globally 💪
Q. How is the funding and revenue situation for the project? you mentioned a successful strategic funding?
Travala.com has raised over USD $3M in funding to date so funding is going well. We also just released an equity crowdfund as part of our Series A round. You can find the link here: https://www.crowdcube.com/travala
As for the revenue we have been growing on average over 20% month-on-month over the last 12 months and we expect to continue to have significant growth, targeting yearly revenue levels above USD $20M by next year
Q. The trading volume for the AVA token is atm very low, any plans to engage in trading competitions or other activities? any new exchanges planned?
We have done a couple trading competitions on KuCoin in the past however we’re focusing on driving real organic volumes and there has been interest from several leading exchanges to list AVA, which we hope will increase the current trading volumes
Q. Hi Juan, Are there any other otas/travel suppliers in the pipeline for the same kind of partnership as with booking?
Yes of course. We have several other major partnerships/integrations in process that are up there at that level with booking.com. Unfortunately, I can’t give much more on this now but we are very excited for the first half of 2020!
Q. May i ask, how did you achieve a deal with booking.com whats in it for them? isnt travala.com competition?
I worked for Booking.com and I have many great connections within their team. They were very excited about the prospect of this niche market we have captured within the crypto payments space and they were and are very motivated to support us in our mission
Q. How many team members does AVA have? Looking to increase?
We currently have over 30 team members. We are looking to add several more key members in certain roles. Tech and Marketing will be the main areas of team growth in 2020. You can view the full current team here: https://whitepaper.travala.com/#team
Q. This all sounds 2 good to be true but i love it, anything you feel is lacking currently for travala ?
Not really, we have a very strong team and a clear strategy and execution plan, as well as enough funding and amazing support from our community and investors. We strongly believe that the current market cap of AVA nowhere near reflects the actual value of our platform, developments, achievements, etc. when compared to some other competitors in the space for example. We believe it’ll be just a matter of time for Travala.com and AVA to explode!!
Q. What percentage of people booking use crypto vs traditional payment?
Over 60% of the total bookings in December were paid with cryptocurrencies. This has been the trend for the past year you can take a look through our monthly reports here – https://blog.travala.com/category/reports/
Q. That Smart Program is attractive I like the tiered discounts for holding AVA
Yes, the Smart program is our most impressive use case and for those not familiar with our Smart Program, it is based on a tiered rewards system. The higher the Smart level the greater your rewards will be. For example, in the highest reward bracket Smart Level 5 (5000 AVA), users receive a 5% discount on Smart listed hotel and accommodation prices, a 5% loyalty reward following completion of your stay, and also Smart bonus rewards of 1.5% per month of your locked amount of AVA
This gives our Smart members up to 10% Savings on Hotel and Accommodation Bookings and up to 18% Per Annum Bonuses on your AVA with our Smart Bonus Rewards.
You can read more about it here: https://blog.travala.com/smart-discounts-loyalty-and-bonus-rewards/
Q. As soon as the site goes mainstream this quarter, how are all the other services added such as flights and car rental in the future. Will this be temporarily offered on separate website and later merged or will the travala website goes down for maintenance for updates like it happened now.
Everything will be offered through Travala.com, however, the other verticals such as Flights and Car Rental will not affect the Hotel Booking vertical and not cause any downtimes. We are making a lot of infrastructure improvements for scalability which causes some downtimes right now however this will not happen once we go mainstream of course!
Where can I buy AVA tokens?
Should you wish to purchase AVA tokens, you can do so from: