In only five years, Traveloka has grown into Indonesia’s number one flight and hotel booking service provider with 30million apps download. As one of the country’s ‘Unicorns’ (the term used to describe a privately held company with a market capitalization over USD 1Billion) the company is continuing its expansion across the ASEAN region.
While studying at Harvard University, Traveloka founder Ferry Unardi, found it difficult to secure plane tickets from the United States to his home town of Padang, Indonesia.
By recruitingfellow Indonesians who were working as software engineers at well-respected technology companies in the United States, Traveloka began to take flight.
Traveloka’s headquarters were established in Jakarta in 2012. The company quickly evolved in 2013 from offering ‘meta-search’ solutions enabling customers to find flights to providing a platform which customers were able to book flights directly through Traveloka’s website.
‘Back in 2013, there was no reliable digital platform for consumers in Indonesia to purchase travel products online. We decided to tackle this challenge. It was not easy because the ecosystem was and still is relatively undeveloped. For example, majority of consumers in Indonesia do not have credit cards so we have to integrate many payment channels and be able to serve them at scale.” says Henry Hendrawan, Traveloka’s Chief Financial Officer. Despite these challenges, demand increased dramatically by 2014, the same year the company began offering itshotel booking service.
“We treat Southeast Asia not as a destination but as a source market. Therefore we cater to what the local consumers want. It means having a complete inventory not only in Bali but also in local destinations such as Jogjakarta, Bandung, Malang, and other tier two and tier three cities across Indonesia.”
Capitalizing on their success in Indonesia, Traveloka expanded to other ASEAN countries in 2015 including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. ”We see an opportunity for a digital platform that serve Southeast Asian consumers for travel needs. There are a lot of unique ecosystem challenges and consumer needs in Southeast Asia and we are well-positioned to solve those issues and be the go-to digital travel platform for Southeast Asian consumers” added Hendrawan.