While consumers have many options to book hotels online, a peer to peer network for people looking for a place to stay isn’t that popular in India yet, unlike in the west where services like Airbnb and Couchsurfing are used extensively.
But as disposable income increases and a largely young population looks to travel the country, there is a need to help them find alternative accommodation such as homestays. Delhi based TheOtherHome is taking a crack at that market.
The startup wants to aggregate non hotel properties such as holiday homes, homestays, heritage, eco-resorts and outdoor adventure packages to create a platform for travellers to explore local food, culture, heritage and lifestyle.
At present, they offer adventure destinations, itineraries, state guide and deals with over 500 properties in 24 states. On adventure front, the platform enables users to explore or travel to remote or exotic areas and engage travelers or adventure seekers in different kinds of outdoor activities in the natural environment.
Under itineraries category, travelers can choose themes activities (such as adventure, cultural tours, eco-friendly, cycling, desert safari, jungle safari) and places (backwaters, beach lake and rivers etc).
According to Jaspal Singh, the founder of TheOtherHome, the company wants to create a peer to peer network or a marketplace where suppliers and buyers meet. Till date, the company has booked nearly 1,500 rooms nights, worked on 10 advertising assignments and generated “some revenues” from property listings, says Singh.
Singh says that they have plans to increase presence in other cities over the coming months. The company is also entering into tie-up with various service providers who are offering specialized services like heritage walks, trekking, cookery and Indian music.
TheOtherHome aims to generate revenue through booking commission, property listing, advertising and other value added services such as transportation. “We are creating special tour packages around these properties creating unique experience such as Tea Tours, Wine Tours, Photography Workshops,” added Singh.
Very recently, NCR based Oravel secured seed funding from VentureNursery’s Angels funded and it’s also confirmed that AirBnB is launching in India (they are already active).