If you like being surprised, Waynabox is for you. The Valencia-based startup founded by Pau Sendra, Ferran Blanché and Daniel Jiménez offers consumers the possibility of making weekend trips all around Europe for just €150 (accommodation and flights included), to a destination that can’t be chosen and won’t be known until two days before departure.
“Waynabox is an iteration from previous ideas we’ve had”, says Sendra in a conversation with Novobrief. “While we were doing interail around Europe we had the idea of reselling empty train seats, but it didn’t work. We considered applying that to air travel and that’s how Waynabox was born”.
Although users can’t choose any of the 12 destinations the startups offers, they can eliminate one for free and up to nine for €5 each. The same kind of flexibility is offered when it comes to flight schedules; while all flights depart on Friday and return on Sunday, consumers can be more specific in their schedules by paying an additional fee.
An interesting way of traveling that, so far, seems to have captured the attention of 3,500 young Spanish travellers.
Sendra, who previously worked at aviation consulting company ITAérea, says that what the company does is resell unsold inventory from travel agencies, hotels and airlines as well as a limited number of allocated assets from these players. “We try to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way and circumstances vary depending on the time of year”, he says.
After being founded in 2013, the company went through Lanzadera’s accelerator program and in less than six months it has reached €500,000 in sales. Which, let’s be clear, does not equal revenues of half a million euros, since Waynabox’s margin -and those of most travel agencies and airlines- is quite small.
“It’s a tough industry with very low margins”, he explains. “Vueling, for example, might earn less than five euros per ticket sold, and we’re talking about tickets that cost a couple hundred of euros”. Sendra declined to go into detail about the company’s margins.
The 13-person startup faces competition from Dutch travel agency Sprsme and from airlines which from time to time launch similar deals and offers. However, Sendra seems confident that what they’re building is better than what’s out there. “The key is in building a great product that doesn’t need a big marketing push and in reaching a high volume of sales”, he adds. To achieve this, the company will soon be launching in new cities and countries -it’s currently only available in Madrid and Barcelona- and is planning to raise a new round of funding.
On top of Lanzadera’s €200,000 flexible loan, Waynabox has raised €250,000 from private investors (including Spainair’s current marketing director). “We’re now looking for a bigger round to accelerate our international expansion. We believe our model will work outside of Spain and once consumers try it, they come back for more”, he concludes.