Dallas’s Traxo Creates Digital Dashboards for Harried Travelers
We have a world with AirBnb, OpenTable, Uber, and TicketMaster. Andres Fabris wants to bring it all together.
“It’s a smart agent in your pocket,” says Fabris, the founder and CEO of Dallas-based travel app Traxo.
The app not only keeps track of itineraries for transportation and accommodation, it uses artificial intelligence to offer suggestions on places to stay, eat, or drink based on memberships in loyalty programs. Traxo aggregates airline, hotel, and other travel and entertainment itineraries while also providing up-to-date weather information and alerts if flights are still on time.
The app, which began as a project that Fabris developed in order to stay connected with far-flung business school classmates after graduation, was initially marketed to consumers. And while it is still available to individuals, two years ago Fabris targeted a bigger market: business trying to plan travel for and keep track of ever-mobile employees.
“About 40 percent of employees booked travel outside the company-sanctioned travel services,” he says, meaning that many managers lack a centralized way to keep track of those employees. “What you can’t see, you can’t control.”
Fabris says Traxo provides businesses with a dashboard of this activity. The startup says its software is used by travel agencies who manage corporate travel accounts. The idea is to track the travel plans of those business customers’ in a single centralized location. That’s something companies like because it helps them better manage expenses.
“If people book outside the approved agency, (managers) don’t see it until the expense report is filed,” Fabris says. “It’s too late to manage it, Here, they see it in real time.”
Traxo is also working with affinity groups such as Inside Flyer, an online traveler community with tens of thousands of members. The startup “white-labeled” its software for the group so now Inside Flyer has its own branded travel management program online for its members, built with Traxo software.
Traxo operates using a typical SAAS business model. For example, an organization with 10,000 active users would be charged on average an upfront fee of between $5,000 and $10,000 and then about $3,000 a month in a subscription.
Traxo raised $1.5 million in angel capital and a $4.2 million Series A round in 2013 from investors such as Thayer Ventures, based in Valencia, CA, Silver Creek in Dallas, and Austin, TX-based Advantage Capital Partners.
The birth of Traxo in the Dallas-Fort Worth region makes sense considering the area’s aviation roots. Home to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (one of the world’s top 10 busiest airports), North Texas is also the headquarters of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, as well as Sabre, which makes software that processes reservations for airlines and hotels.
Traxo has a number of travel industry veterans among its management, including Rob Friedman, a former American Airlines executive, who is Traxo’s chief commercial officer. Fabris himself spent seven years at Sabre. “Dallas is a great place to build a travel startup,” he says.