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START STEP: SBC Travel Launches Crypto-Friendly Hotel Booking Platform

SBC Travel

SBC Travel is a new online travel agency that accepts cryptocurrency. It launches with an inventory of 175,000 hotels and accommodation providers in more than 185 countries, mainly powered by Hotelbeds.

The company is headed by Daryn Griggs, CEO of Swiss Bloc Capital, a Swiss holding company that owns SBC Travel, based in Singapore. Reservations paid with cryptocurrency enjoy a lower rate than reservations made with other payment methods.

Describe both the business and technological aspects of your startup.

SBC Travel is a cryptocurrency-enabled online travel agency established to primarily serve the digital currency owner community of parent company Swiss Bloc Capital to offer significant discounts on travel-related products and services. SBC Travel will also accept traditional payment methods such as credit cards and bank transfers, as well as other payment methods such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.

SBC Travel also offers a blockchain-based rewards program, rewarding customers with the Global Travel Token (GTX) cryptocurrency whenever they book travel or make purchases from an Affiliate Partner. Other technologies include an online booking engine and a mobile application. The technology to support our corporate clients (online booking tool, reconciliation platform and corporate mobile app) will be introduced in the third quarter of 2019.




What inspired you to start this business?

SBC Travel’s parent company, Swiss Bloc Capital, launched a digital currency in the Asian market in May 2018 called Global Travel Token (GTX). One of the perks of the GTX was having access to discounted travel. SBC Travel was launched to initially meet this requirement, but has since grown into more than a closed user group travel agency by opening up the business to other crypto communities and the general public.

SBC Travel will complete the acquisition of the land travel agency Dream Holidays Planner by the end of January 2019, which will allow SBC Travel to access more market segments.

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

  • Highlights: SBC Travel has a large and growing clientele of GTX owners, and with the acquisition of Dream Holidays Planner, another established loyal clientele will be available.
  • Cons: SBC Travel currently offers a hotel inventory to clients through a relationship with Hotelbeds. SBC Travel also seeks to establish direct relationships with hotels. However, other travel products such as airlines and rental cars are not available for purchase on the site.
  • Opportunities: There is an opportunity to make the SBC Travel platform available to other communities, either through private label or co-branding. It is also possible to add aircraft and rental cars to the product offering. It is also possible to add the ability of a travel management company to the business to attract corporate clients.
  • Threats: Competition is still a threat and regulators are also changing the way crypto can be used and accepted.

What are the travel issues that you are trying to alleviate from a customer and industry perspective?

SBC Travel’s vision is to be the travel agent of choice for the crypto community and other closed user groups. The initial problem to be addressed is to allow GTX holders to leverage their tokens by accessing very low cost travel options.

There are also other great communities that are looking for ‘added value’ for members, and this is where SBC Travel’s private label or co-brand program can help establish the same benefit GTX users have. have access.

SBC Travel is unique in that it accepts other forms of payment and allows all platforms and technologies to be labeled by other companies who wish to be seen as providing travel service to customers and members.

So you have the product, now how are you going to get a lot of customers?

SBC Travel already has access to over 150,000 GTX owners, and as the adoption of GTX grows, so will SBC Travel’s customer base. SBC Travel will also begin offering services to corporate clients by mid-2019.

SBC Travel recently hired a very experienced digital marketing expert to promote SBC Travel to GTX members, other community groups and businesses through pay per click, SEO and social media. SBC Travel will also recruit business development managers for corporate sales to focus on this segment.

Tell us what process you went through to establish a real need for your business and the size of the addressable market.

We established a need by providing a token that has strong travel benefits. The addressable market is anyone who owns a cryptocurrency or enjoys traveling.

How and when will you make money?

SBC Travel is expected to break even in Q1 2019. SBC Travel earns revenue from exchanging GTX and other non-fiat currencies for fiat as well as collecting fees on private label opportunities. The acquisition of Dream Holidays Planner will also contribute to the revenues of traditional travel agents.

What are the previous backgrounds and accomplishments of the founding team, and why do you have what it takes to be successful in this business?

The founding team has extensive experience in hospitality, payments and financial markets, which will drive the company to success. The CEO of SBC Travel has over 25 years of experience in payments and was most recently Business Manager for 52 hotels in Australia and New Zealand. SBC Travel’s CTO has over 30 years of experience in payment, rewards and hospitality technologies.

What has been the most difficult part of building the business so far?

Regulation and compliance took the longest time, but we are now past that hurdle.

Typically, travel industry startups face a pretty tough time to make an impact – so why are you going to be one of the lucky ones?

Due to the large established customer base, which continues to grow, as well as our focus on niche communities to promote our products and services.

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