The Porto based startup Take a City is going to represent Portugal at the Dublin Web Summit, which is starting tomorrow. We talked with Reinaldo Ferreira, Take a City’s Founder and CEO, just before the conference starts.
EU-Startups.com: What is Take a City doing?
Reinaldo Ferreira: Take a City offers tools that travelers use to complement and integrate online services and expert advice. Our platform can be used by Travel Agents and Local Operators to target individual preferences, organize information and documents, provide permanent support and develop long term relationships.
EU-Startups.com: Can you please explain it in detail?
Reinaldo Ferreira: We want to build a platform that can help someone with a smartphone or in a web site find and purchase travel related services. These can be not just the plane ticket, hotel room and restaurant booking, but also a concert ticket, a special transport arrangement, a bus pass, you name it. And in all locations there are plenty of professional service providers willing to not just sell a standardized package but also a personalized experience. And your local Travel Agent can help you whenever you want and, mainly, whenever things go wrong and you find yourself stuck in an airport, left without hotel or in a middle of a train strike. All this can be done with an integrated platform that provides a user experience in digital format.
EU-Startups.com: In what phase are you now?
Reinaldo Ferreira: We developed most of the architecture and made our beta web site available. We’ve invested a lot on the data model to cope with technology integration challenges. One of our breakthroughs is the personal preferences engine, which we didn’t make available yet: you can already try to check into each city you’ve visited in the world. The next focus will be on the mobile platform. We are preparing the worldwide launch and we’ll be releasing additional features regularly.
EU-Startups.com: So how many users and customers have you now?
Reinaldo Ferreira: We are not yet pushing the registrations but users just keep coming steadily. Most important for us in the short term, we already have a few hundred travel agents registered and some tens of thousands in the marketing pipeline. We’ve defined 1,000 cities for the global roll-out and we’ve made ground tests at Take a City Porto with more than 1,000 volunteers and in three additional cities. We’re setting up Take a City Dublin right now and take the opportunity of being here to make an additional test.
EU-Startups.com: Why are you going to visit the Dublin Web Summit?
Reinaldo Ferreira: Take a City was selected by the organization within over 600 applications from all over the world to exhibit in the conference. This is an incredible opportunity to network and partnership. With 3000+ participants, I guess I’ll have some busy days.
EU-Startups.com: Can I ask you how much capital you already invested into the project and if you are looking for additional investors?
Reinaldo Ferreira: Yes, that’s OK. We invested €450K up to now and we are currently looking for additional seed funding.
EU-Startups.com: So what can we expect from you in the short term?
Reinaldo Ferreira: Going for a global roll out is a major step we can only do if we find all the necessary means for it. So we’re being very careful. Still, you are going to see a lot happening before the end of the year.