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HomeTravelStartup Stage: Stellar allows consumers to repurpose their unused reservations

Startup Stage: Stellar allows consumers to repurpose their unused reservations


stellar-logo-2

Stellar

Using the Stellar app, consumers can browse, select and reserve services and accommodations that suit their preferences and budget and that the original purchaser no longer wants but cannot cancel.

Founded in 2023, Stellar leverages technology to facilitate direct transactions between consumers while controlling inventory availability.

What is your 30-second pitch to investors?

Stellar will empower you to repurpose your unused, nonrefundable
and noncancellable reservations effortlessly. Whether you have a hotel booking
that you can no longer use or a ticket for an event that you can’t attend, Stellar will attempt to connect you with other members who are eager to take advantage
of these opportunities.

Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.

As a trusted middleman, Stellar leverages technology to facilitate
direct transactions between our consumers while controlling inventory
availability. This risk-free transaction model creates a seamless, secure
experience.

Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
analysis of the company.

  • Strengths:
    • Unique
      marketplace concept focused on repurposing noncancellable and nonrefundable
      reservations and tickets, empowering users to minimize losses from unused
      reservations and tickets.
    • Offers
      a wide range of categories, including travel, dining and events.
    • User-centric
      design, created specifically for the target audience.
  • Weaknesses:
    • Relies
      heavily on user participation and engagement to maintain a steady supply of
      listings.
    • May
      face legal and logistical hurdles in facilitating the transfer of reservations
      and tickets.
    • Requires
      significant marketing efforts to build brand awareness and attract a critical
      mass of users.
  • Opportunities:
    • Growing
      demand for cost-saving and sustainable travel and entertainment options.
    • Partnerships
      with travel, dining and event providers to offer exclusive deals and seamless
      transfer processes.
    • Expansion
      into international markets.
    • Integration
      with social media platforms.
    • Introduction
      of a loyalty program.
  • Threats:
    • Competition
      from established marketplaces and online travel agencies that may introduce
      similar features.
    • Potential
      changes in policies made by travel, dining and event providers.
    • Legal
      and regulatory challenges related to the transfer of reservations and tickets,
      particularly in different jurisdictions.
    • Economic
      downturns or global crises that may impact the travel, dining and event
      industries, reducing demand for the platform.
    • Reputation
      risks associated with user experiences, such as fraudulent listings or
      unsatisfactory transactions.

What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from
both the customer and the industry perspective?

For customers, Stellar enables recourse for nonrefundable
reservations by unlocking resale opportunities, providing flexibility and
financial relief when plans change. For the industry, Stellar supplements
revenue streams from perishable inventory through controlled resale channels
via our mobile app and B2B portal. By partnering with Stellar, travel, dining
and event providers can tap into a new source of revenue from resold bookings,
reducing waste and increasing profitability.

So you’ve got the product, now how will you get lots of
customers? 

Stellar will focus on client acquisition through use cases and
finding avenues through high level networks and communities for enterprising
inventory.

Tell us what process you’ve gone through to establish a genuine
need for your company and the size of the addressable market.

With two decades of experience repurposing reservations, the
founding team understands the market gaps their platform addresses. However, a
formal market sizing analysis is still needed.

How and when will you make money?

Stellar’s primary revenue model is based on transactions
facilitated through our platform. We charge fees to both parties involved in
each transaction. For sellers, we take a percentage of the total sale price as
a seller fee, covering the cost of listing and securely processing the
transaction. On the buyer side, we charge a buyer fee, which is also a
percentage of the total purchase price, covering the cost of facilitating the
transaction, including payment processing, customer support and any additional services
or guarantees.

In addition to our transaction-based revenue, Stellar is also
exploring advertisement opportunities on both our consumer app and B2B portal.
As Stellar grows and expands, we will continue to explore new revenue
opportunities that complement our transaction-based model, such as premium
features for sellers and value-added services for buyers.

What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding
team?

The founding team has successfully led a private concierge agency
catering to high net worth consumers.

How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your
business?

The company’s team is composed of individuals from varied
backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. This cultivates an environment of
diverse thought and creativity that directly benefits Stellar’s mission to make
experiences more accessible. By promoting an inclusive culture internally,
Stellar can more authentically connect with and serve the needs of their
diverse customer base. We are committed to building equitable opportunities and
providing welcoming experiences.

What’s been the most difficult part of founding the business so
far?

As hospitality veterans, building a robust technology platform
from the ground up with limited technical expertise posed significant hurdles
for Stellar. We’re experts at creating amazing travel experiences, but coding
and developing robust platforms? That’s not exactly our wheelhouse. So I
knew we had to get creative. We brought on board some talented tech developers
who could take our hospitality industry expertise and transform it into a
rock-solid digital platform and marketplace.

Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an
impact – so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?

Stellar is well-positioned to succeed due to our unique value
proposition of repurposing nonrefundable reservations and tickets, focus on
community building, strategic partnerships, agile approach, experienced team,
robust technology infrastructure and sustainable business model. We’re not just
creating another travel app; we’re fostering a movement that redefines how
people experience and share travel. By addressing a clear pain point,
cultivating a strong sense of belonging and leveraging our collective expertise,
we’re confident in our ability to navigate the complexities of the industry and
emerge as a leading player in the travel tech space.

A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?

Stellar will establish itself as a leading player in the
travel and experience tech space, having attracted a loyal user base and a
diverse range of providers. Our platform will have undergone improvements based
on user feedback and market trends, resulting in a seamless, feature-rich
experience. We will have implemented advanced security measures and robust
customer support to ensure the trust and satisfaction of our users.

Financially, we will have achieved steady revenue growth through
transaction fees, premium features and targeted advertising, while our
partnerships will have opened up new opportunities for expansion. Our brand
will have gained recognition in the travel and hospitality industry, with
positive reviews and media coverage showcasing our innovative approach and
commitment to sustainability. Internally, our team will have grown to include
additional talent, fostering a strong company culture. Looking ahead, Stellar
will be well-positioned to scale operations, expand into new markets and
explore strategic opportunities for growth. 

What is your end-game (going public, acquisition, growing and
staying private, etc.)?

Our biggest priority is fostering Stellar into an iconic travel
brand and cultivating a strong, vibrant community around it. We want Stellar to
become a household name that people associate with exceptional travel
experiences and trust. While an IPO or acquisition could be down the road, our primary focus is on building a sustainable,
impactful business that stays true to its mission. In the near term, we aim to
establish Stellar as the go-to marketplace for repurposing unused reservations
and tickets by expanding our user base, forming strategic partnerships and
continuously improving our platform.

As Stellar matures, the emphasis will be on scaling the business
while maintaining our core values and commitment to social responsibility. So
rather than rushing toward an exit, we’ll lean heavily on the guidance from
our stakeholders, advisors and investors to determine the ideal path forward as
opportunities arise organically. Ultimately, the end-game for Stellar is to
create a lasting legacy – a company that not only achieves financial success
but also makes a meaningful difference in the lives of its users, employees and
the wider community.

Phocuswright Innovation Platform

Phocuswright
Innovation is a platform that fosters a vibrant and interconnected community of
innovators, startups, investors and thought leaders contributing to the overall
development of an innovation ecosystem in travel. Using this one link, startups
can learn about all of the innovation-related events and programs from
Phocuswright and PhocusWire.



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