Reshaping the way we book tours with VR/AR, 360 Stories brings tour providers’ massive outdated market, online. Benefits include higher conversion and targeted reach through new channels (VR/AR).
At 360 Stories, we produce cool 360-degree photos and videos that show travelers what their next destination is really like, from their home computer, mobile or VR device. Clients can then pre-experience activities and book these real-life tours directly within the app. If we already experience the world in 360 degrees, why should we limit ourselves online?
We are not a standard VR/AR company. We are a travel tech startup focusing on innovation with new sales channels and creating an absolutely new market segment from VR/AR Travel. We are building a new product category of VR/AR Travel Booking that in the near future will dominate the process of both the pre-travel and in-travel booking of Tours and Attractions.
By 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in AR online and in-store, according to Gartner, Inc.
As travelers, we grew tired of the same old stock photos and fake reviews that plague tour and activity booking sites online. We would miss great opportunities and end up in horrible places, because there is no way to trust these sites’ content. Because of this, 80%* of people, just like us, book their experiences offline! No matter how nice the stock photo or how many millions the industry players funnel into online marketing, conversion rates hover around 1%.
* But that is not the biggest issue. 85% of travelers start thinking about what they are going to do at their destination only after arriving at their hotel, so they don't have much time left to research, read and compare different websites before enjoying their activities.
As VR/AR entrepreneurs, we realized an opportunity. In a study released by Facebook, 71% of people from the US, UK and other countries, said they would use VR for travel. That number is even higher than the interest for VR Gaming (48%) or VR Entertainment (59%).
With this in mind, we created an intuitive and fun platform that works online, on mobile and on VR devices, that shows travelers how fun it is to play with elephants in Thailand, walk the streets of New York, or any growing number of other fun and interesting activities around the world. What is unique about our solution, is that it uses user-generated first-person 360 videos showing teasers of the activities in easily-digestible 40-50-second clips. This is what it looks like.
Also along with 360 video we are post-producing the same output in 2D format too (Wynwood) which can be published on Youtube and other social media.
360 Stories is also expanding to new channels, reaching travelers in airports, planes, trains and hotels on their journey, with custom VR-enabled chairs. If they like what they see, they can book tickets for the real-life experience during their journey there. We are doing this in partnership with companies who are already operating in airplanes, airport lounges and hotels.
Our long-term goal is to convert customers as they walk on the streets, when they are already at their destination. We are working on our Mobile AR App, as Mobile AR is trending right now, and apps like Harry Potter AR are starting to expand the interest of AR-based exploration.
With 80% of business from the tours and activities market currently conducted offline, there is massive potential to grow and corner the online sector. The tours and activities market is predicted to reach $183-billion by 2020, and continue expanding by 10% every year. Each sales partner gives us access to thousands of tour providers, museums and marketable activities that gives us revenue to grow and gives them bigger conversion on every booking on their website and on travel platforms
Our main revenue engine is a percentage of the booking fee. Every time a customer books a tour or activity through our platform, at an average of $100, 360 Stories receives 10-20% commission.
Another major revenue stream is the production of 360-degree videos and photos. Tour providers, museums and different attractions enlist our services to produce our proprietary 360-degree content of their products. This content is co-owned by us and used to sell those products. Through our partners we have access to 250,000 tour providers and attractions worldwide and our mission here is to convince everyone that 360 Stories is the best way to book tours and activities and that everyone should switch as soon as possible.
Because of the varied nature of our business, our competition encompasses four main areas. These include 360-degree content creators like AirPano and YouVisit; travel content creators such as Meero; VR apps like Kayak-VR and Gala360; and in a way, we will also be competing with Google Maps, as they are working on similar 360-degree tech.
Unlike these competitors, however, 360 Stories offers the full package: 360-degree travel content in VR that offers users the opportunity to book travel experiences.
Over the past fourteen months, we have scaled to 23 destinations, added 750 products, experienced a constant 100% user growth every month, and added twelve new channels in airports and hotels.
We are a portfolio company of the Vive X Accelerator and are partnered with HTC Vive X.
In the month of June 2019, we had over 2,000,000 visits within our apps, and over 58,000 views per day.
Negotiating with a major Travel Media Portal to integrate our content on its website and mobile appJuly, 2019
Negotiating with a market-leading Asian airline to integrate our content with their Tours and Activities website and AR SDK into mobile appJuly, 2019
Total registered users hit 116,000July, 2019
Over 700 bookable experiences in 23 destinationsJune, 2019
Partnered with InFlight VR for in-flight VR integration with Iberia Airlines and AirportsMay, 2019
Total VR users reach 20,000April, 2019
20 destinations and 500 productsMarch, 2019
VR app launched on Oculus RiftFebruary, 2019
Partnered with SkyLights for in-flight VR integration for AirFrance flights to ParisNovember, 2018
Entered HTC Vive X Accelerator ProgramNovember, 2018
15 destinations and 300 productsOctober, 2018
VR app launched on Vive and Vive ProSeptember, 2018
10 destinations and 200 productsJuly, 2018
First VR app launched on Oculus GoJune, 2018
Web platform launch with 6 destinations and 100 productsMarch, 2018
The tour and activities market is growing toward a staggering $183 billion by 2020, expanding 10% every year. With five partners, we have access to over 15,000 tour providers, museums, and attractions in the top 40 destinations worldwide. Just one of these partners, with a 5% share of the online market, sold 10M experiences in 2018 with an average of $100 per experience! With 250,000 potential tour providers linked to us through each of our sales partners, each offering hundreds of different tours, this is a massive source of revenue.
80% of the revenue in the tours and activities market is still generated offline in 2019, making this the perfect opportunity for innovation. With millennials leading a paradigm shift, spending more on experiences than on transportation and hospitality together, it is time to modernize this market and bring it online. In a study released by Facebook, 71% of people from the US, UK and other countries, said they would use VR for travel. This is higher than those that would use VR for gaming, retail, and entertainment!
We have already partnered up with the top travel sites and tour providers such as KKday, Tiqets, Urban Adventures, GetYourGuide, and many more. In the coming months, we aim to continue building bigger partnerships to reach more tour providers and travelers, through companies such as Airbnb and Expedia.
While 360 Stories produces some of the best VR content on the market, the platform also offers so much more. Our appeal to travelers is in the full package we provide, filming and photographing entire locations and experiences as opposed to single picturesque points. This content serves a concrete purpose for our tour provider partners, as it is a marketing tool to sell their travel products. This entire user experience journey culminates in a booking transaction through our platform.
Our competition is split into four main areas. 360-degree content creators like AirPano and YouVisit; travel content startups such as Meero; VR apps like Ascape, K-VR and Gala360; and tour booking platforms such as TimeRift Tours. At 360 Stories, however, we combine all these into one synergistic whole that allows users to view 360-degree travel content in VR and book tours directly.
Our main revenue engine is a fee per booking. Every time a tour is booked through our platform—whether from the customer’s home computer, phone, VR device or the custom VR chairs placed in hotel and airport lounges—we receive a 10-15% commission. Our second revenue stream comes directly from tour providers and hotels that pay us for the service of co-producing 360-degree films and photos of their activities, tours, and facilities.
Every destination comes with new partners, film crews, agencies and local storytellers. From a team of four full-time employees in our home location, we have scaled to 23 destinations worldwide in the past 14 months. Every location has an active team constantly adding new sites and products. Our team has added 750 new products, over 10 new sales channels in hotels and airports, and pushed a 20% growth month over month. Our user base has seen an even larger growth of 100% per month.
We are currently designing an AR app that will allow us to accompany users already at their destination. Using their phones or AR devices, travelers will be able to view the stories and activities of the city in real-time as they walk around and book tickets to these experiences. We are also developing a platform for real tour guides to accompany their tourists virtually through the app, and plan to incorporate AI guides that provide personalized tours based on a set narrative package.
If Google decides to do completely copy the idea, it will be very hard to compete against them. But because of their large scale, they would never sustain a quality of 360 videos so high that someone would sell tours based on it. They currently have a big street-view database of 360 photos, and most are of very bad quality. We are focusing only on video and ensuring that as we scale we also maintain our high standards of quality. Once we establish working partnerships with the top tour providers and attractions, it will be very hard for a new company to convince them to do the same. Even if they offer the same for free, it is just too big a hassle to go through one more time. Even the biggest Online Travel Agencies will not be able to do the same, for the simple reason that they are huge corporations, and they would never be able to convince anyone to go to film something for them in exchange for only a ticket.
As with any investment there are risks and ways to mitigate them. Here is a short list of top risks associated with a startup like ours: