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Born out of a real need this Amsterdam-based tech startup scored $5M to make travel smart

Origin
Image credits: Origin

Based out of Amsterdam, Origin is a membership travel company that creates completely individual, personalised trips. The Dutch company has raised over $5M funding in its seed round led by a German VC firm Project A.

Other investors, including Cavalry Ventures and other angel investors like David Rosenthal (cohost of Acquired), Brad Klingenberg (CAO of Daily Harvest and previously StitchFix), and John Johnson (co-founder of Buzzfeed), also participated in the round. 

Fund usage

The company intends to use the funding to:

  • Expand local knowledge and connections to increase destination coverage from 110 to 140 individual countries.
  • Enhance the app by accelerating the trip booking process through better tooling, adding on-trip functionalities, and better capturing of feedback.
  • Building new partnerships with new travel providers, hotels, etc
  • Accelerate content development to serve more unique interests of our members.

How Origin was born?

According to the company founders – Eli Bressert and Tamar van de Paal, Origin was born out of real need. 

“We found ourselves at odds with little time to invest in building great trips for ourselves, friends, and family. There are great self-serve tools like Booking or Expedia to search for hotels, flights, and things to do. Unfortunately, the complexity of trip planning and managing is a time sink.”

In fact, the founders tried traditional agencies and realised that the level of personalisation through these services is underwhelming. 

At that point in time, they asked one single question, “Why can’t we funnel all of this through the most convenient form factor of an app on the phone?” 

Thus the idea of Origin was born. 

Reshaping travel industry

The Dutch company aims to reshape the travel industry by catering to discerning travellers who yearn for tailored and unique experiences. Origin uses the knowledge of human travel experts and then powers their trip curation with machine learning in one app.

“Our travel experts use machine learning to craft the perfect trip, right down to the smallest details,” says the company on their website.

The platform personalises trips to every traveller’s needs and ensures the vacations fit their tastes while exploring new and delightful experiences. 

Investor

Based out of Berlin, Project A is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in digital companies. With over $600M of assets under management, the company starts with investments of $1M to $8M and reserves up to $30M for future rounds, from pre-seed to Series A and beyond.

In addition to capital, the company also provides operational support including all areas across product, growth, data, and people.

“While travel booking has been digitized at the expense of traditional travel agencies years ago, the process of booking complicated trips like a safari has remained burdensome for travellers. At the same time mobile-first millennials and GenX are becoming the driving force behind the growing premium travel market,” says Mey Cezairli, Investment Manager at Project A. 

He adds, “We believe that by blending human touch with the latest machine learning technology, Origin has the potential to create a scalable premium travel assistant for highly personalised trips that are making travel much more special and convenient.”

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