Welcome to our X-Europe startup interview series. We have virtually sat down with a number of our founders from past cohorts to hear all about their solutions, vision for the future, and what made them tick during our X Europe programme. So whether you are a deep tech founder looking for startup support, an eagle-eyed investor, or simply interested in the possibilities that technology can bring to society, then we welcome you to take a read. Please meet Globetrotter VR, which allows people to experience destinations from their couch, with the help of real tour guides and virtual reality.
Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it?
Globetrotter VR allows people to experience destinations from their couch, with the help of real tour guides and virtual reality. Our tours are powered by WebVR, which makes them accessible from any device. We create these interactive experiences in collaboration with local tour guides, and artists, from the world’s top destinations. They offer the user a chance to escape into stunning 8K 360° landscapes and engaging storytelling while learning about history and culture. We have two types of tours - the on-demand tour, which users can watch in their own time. This is perfect for the busy bees, and those looking to unwind with purpose. We also have live tours, which are hosted by our expert guides and offer an opportunity to dial into the virtual experience for a more social feel. This is fantastic for those who want to know more and ask questions, as well as for group and social activities.
What led you to start or join your company? What is the key motivation and mission behind the startup?
The pandemic has changed the face of travel. It caused the loss of hundreds of millions of jobs and wiped out over $2.7B off the global GDP, which is 5x worse than the 2008 financial crisis. The inability to travel is taking a real emotional toll on people. According to research, travel for pleasure has been the activity missed the most—over going to restaurants and attending events. Nearly 50% of those surveyed in a recent survey by AMEX reported that the inability to travel was causing them anxiety and stress.
As we move into recovering from the pandemic, we need to build back better. The industry and travelers are going through a shift in philosophy. Going forward, travel will be a more meaningful, sustainable, and net positive. Right now, we have a unique opportunity to redefine how we connect with others around the world, how we learn about different cultures and discover destinations.
We want to help revive the travel industry, bring tour guides around the world a new way of connecting with people seeking out their knowledge of history and culture, as well as to make the experience of immersing yourself in a destination more accessible. As the great Marcel Proust said, "The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
Who are the key target audiences? How does the technology make a positive impact?
Our product is targeted to audiences between the ages of 18 and 35, who are interested in media and online entertainment, eg. gaming, who are interested in new technology and like to travel. Within that audience, we are specifically targeting niches of people who are planning their trip to a specific location, or who have certain restrictions on being able to travel freely - these could be financial or physical constraints.
What’s the biggest milestone your startup has achieved so far, and what has surprised you most on this journey?
Our biggest milestone so far was getting a large booking of our latest virtual tour Berlin: the World's First LGBTIQ Capital of the World, by one of the largest UK Asset Managers for their London employees.
How has X-Europe helped you during the past few months?
The training provided with Growth Tribe has been really valuable. What are your goals over the next 3, 6, and 12 months? - 3 months: grow our tour catalogue to 8 tours; £5K MMR; close our funding round
- 6 months: grow our tour catalogue to 10 tours; £10K MMR
- 12 months: implement a subscription model; £20K MMR
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to pave his/her way in the Smart Cities & Sustainability landscape?
Build a company based on your values.