AMA with the CEO of travala.com — Matthew Luczynski! — September 26th
Welcome to ChangeNOW’s AMA series!
Today’s guest is Matthew Luczynski, CEO of Travala.com, who was very kind to answer questions of the members of our Community Chat about Travala, AVA token, it’s past, the current state of affairs, and future plans!
Q: How did you get an idea to start accepting cryptos on Travala?
A: It was something part of our business plan from the off. We wanted to find a way to provide a gateway/off-ramp for cryptocurrency, while our team having a lot of experience in the travel industry the whole concept for travala.com was born.
Q: Your service works both with fiat and with crypto. What is more difficult? Subjectively speaking, of course.
A: Both have had their difficulties to implement. We are really happy with how both have turned out, we now fully accept most fiat currencies and the major cryptos, with more cryptos being added weekly, our platform is fit for purpose for all kinds of our target demographics.
Q: Does Travala have any plans to launch a flight booking?
A: Lookings at 2020, not the hard date on that however we do have R&D ongoing in this area.
Q: Hi Matt, how Travala is technologically integrated with blockchain, except for accepting payments through crypto?
A: Right now we have the payments, our token economic structure which utilizes the blockchain in order to drive this element of givebacks, rewards, and referrals on the site. We will in the future add more functions with Smart Contracts as we develop and migrate over to the balance chain.
Q: What advantages of Binance chain will help $Ava grow in the future?
A: We see finance as a leader in the industry and we have alined ourselves with them, and their chain in order to drive forward with our next phase of development for both the platform and AVA.
Q: What are the types of users on your ecosystem?
A: Many different types actually. From hotel bookers to business travelers to holders of our token. It’s quite a variety.
Q: Any plans to go back to booking rooms with more than 4 people in the near future? For me, this was a big step back when this changed with Bali.
A: Potentially, we are playing around with the booking process, with our dedicated account managers in place, we are seeing how the users as a whole utilize the changes made on the site. We are looking at going back to 6 in the next released based on our current information from the latest update.
Q: With the Bora Bora release soon adding in the final 3 suppliers, what will be next on the hotel front? Will you look to add in more suppliers?
A: We are always looking at adding new suppliers that can give us better rates. This will be ongoing for a long time.
Q: What do you need to do to increase brand awareness to attract users?
A: We created partnerships with other businesses in the space, we make innovations that we see as industry-leading and we make sure we keep our social channels up to date as much as possible.
Q: Hi Matt, have you considered connecting to local restaurants and food joints in the places people are traveling. Something like people can purchase some coupons using Ava and use it in a partner restaurants in some incentivized rate. Do you have any other use case planned for AVA token?
A: Restaurant and food is something we have thought about, creating it into an incentive rate would be up to the business themselves as we couldn’t dictate their price they will accept. What I believe you are thinking about here so here is a Point-of-Sale system which again we have looked into and maybe a vertical we look at in future.
Q: How many users do you have and how about the growth rate?
A: Growth rate is around 25–35% Month on a month of users, I couldn’t give you the exact figure of the top of my head right now.
Q: What spurred the desire to transfer $AVA onto Binance Chain?
A: Mainly the support and our vision aline with binance. So we initiated talks decided to move.
Q: I noticed on the binance info page that Alexis Sirkia and James Seibel have become advisors to Travala. When and how did this occur? Reading their Linkedin pages, there are some serious experience and talent between them.
A: Recently, they have been working with us for some time, and we got contracts signed with them no long ago. The official announcement will come later this year.
Q: AVA will not be much affected by the price of BTC going up or down.
But with so many payment options from different crypto and fiat, what exactly will make the AVA price rise?
Bookers are not committed to buying AVA first.
A: AVA is a utility token, more users being able to acquire the token and use it on the platform will help boost the use-cases and showcase the functions and how important AVA is to the travala.com platform.
Q: What is your plan to make AVA have more liquidity?
A: We are constantly looking for new exchanges and areas for AVA to be listed.
Q: How your business model is supporting the lowest price guarantee while there are so many big players in the market who have means and ways to give more discounts and promotional offers.
A: We make a profit on some bookings, we are up to 40% cheaper than competitors, so we can offer this service within our business model.
Q: Do you think the lowest price guarantee is a sustainable model once Travala grows bigger?
A: Yes, and only time will really tell. However, based on our data we have so far, it’s all looking good.
Q: That’s probably a bit internal but do you pay your employees in crypto if they wish? And how are cryptos integrated in your day-to-day life?
A: Some get paid in AVA, others in fiat. It just depends on their needs and what they want.
Q: If you cannot get liquidity from bigger exchanges, how can Travala survive?
A: Just like any normal business.
Q: What have you done in terms of marketing and what is the strategy to ramp this up?
A: We have ads running on google, we have constant daily content going out and pushing on all social media channels. This is just the beginning.
Q: With the capital raised so far, how long can Travala run for (eg. months) before needing to raise more capital or become profitable?
A: We will constantly push future funding rounds, we want to grow the business to be huge, to do this constant capital increases will be required.
Q: What was the thought and plan behind the token burn activity? Is it increase the token value or something else also involved?
A: We will be looking to initiate a repurchasing of AVA. The reason being is we believe the supply should be lower. 40 Million tokens were our aim and that is why it got initiated.
Q: How are you better than your competitors? What difficulties are you facing for now?
A: Difficulties — We are growing fast, it’s enjoyable and also hard work.
Q: The Real question here, you guys are not planning on abandoning AVA as a token from your business model in the future?
A: No, if anything AVA is becoming more centric to the travala.com platform by the day.
Q: How can you have cheaper prices than for example hotels.com?
A: Because we work hard to make this happen for our users. Hold 5,000 AVA to get even more discounts in our Smart program!
Q: However, I will venture to ask the last question:
what’s your favorite travel destination that travala.com offers?
A: So far, business trip in Tokyo recently proved to be one of the best places i’ve visited
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