STARTUP STAGE: Local Purse offers live video shopping for travelers – PhocusWire
Local Purse connects travelers with experienced local guides for live video cultural shopping experiences.
Founded in December 2020 following the onset of COVID-19, the startup aims to offer personalized experiences for travelers while helping providers recoup lost revenue.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors?
How can we connect travelers who can no longer travel freely due to COVID with experienced local guides who have lost their job and local artisans who have lost their revenue?
Local Purse is the solution that addresses all three problems. Local Purse is a web-based platform which supports artisans and guides through live video cultural shopping experiences to host travelers around the world virtually.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
By providing an easy-to-use innovative solution to facilitate live video shopping experiences between local guides, small locally owned businesses and travelers, our competitive advantage is that we focus on personalized experiences and foster connection. Our solution provides a very low barrier for entry which reduces inequality.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
Our strengths and opportunities are that Local Purse:
- Allows travelers to save tons of money due to travel restrictions while still providing them with virtual travel experiences
- Helps travelers reduce their carbon footprints
- Provides access to and includes people who may not otherwise have access to travel due to various reasons
- Facilitates cultural exchange which is the most memorable parts of our travels
Local Purse also supports the following United Nations sustainability goals:
- GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
- GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
- GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
As a women-led, minority-owned startup, our threats will continue to be battling an investor ecosystem that invests less than 1% on us.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
Due to the devastating impact of COVID on the travel industry, we have been able to connect customers who love to travel but can no longer do so with local certified and experienced who work for reputable travel companies but have lost their jobs as well as local artisans who have lost their revenue. Local Purse addresses all three problems.
So you’ve got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?
We are currently vetting and onboarding trusted partners as well as developing and strengthening our customer acquisition strategy. We are a startup built on trust and connection, and want to make sure those core values permeate our business every single step of the way.
Tell us what process you’ve gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We’ve done market research, run surveys, parsed through statistics, as well as market-validated our ideas, especially since larger companies are now exploring this space of live video shopping.
How and when will you make money?
We have just gone live with our first two experiences in partnership with our first global partner, Intrepid Travel, and are currently onboarding more destinations and experiences over the next few weeks.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?
Local Purse is a minority-owned business founded by two women of color, Lola Akinmade Åkerström and Sara Mansouri. Between us, we have 15-plus years domain expertise within the travel industry, 20-plus years within system architecture and information systems and 15-plus years experience within product and business development, operational excellence and customer success management.
We are also working with technology and business partners to implement our solution as well as have access to a UX/UI designer and product lead. We also have a professional network connected with various travel media agencies and organizations.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your business?
Our diverse team is 50/50 gender split with backgrounds from Nigeria, Iran, Kenya and India.
We aim to be one of the most inclusive and diverse startup teams within the Stockholm startup ecosystem when it comes to gender, cultural background, work experiences and professional expertise. This means we will actively be seeking team members who share our global and diverse values as well as our drive for social impact and meeting at least five of the UN Agenda 2030 goals.
What’s been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
The most difficult part of founding the business is getting access to the resources and funding we know is there, but is rarely made available to minority-owned, women-led companies. We have achieved a lot in a short time through bootstrapping and can move exponentially faster with some angel investment and grants.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact – so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
Beyond bringing decades of industry domain expertise, we are leveraging the macro trend of live video shopping, which is the future of retail. So we are certain in the technology and the trend, and are using it to create a painkiller as well as long-term vitamin for the travel industry.
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?
Stronger than ever.
What is your end-game? (Going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)
Growing and staying private for as long as we can, but more importantly, continuing to make a social impact long after the pandemic.
* Check out Local Purse co-founder Lola Akinmade Åkerström on PhocusWire’s New Reality With… series below.
New Reality With… Lola Åkerström of Geotraveler Media
Learn more about our profiling of new travel companies and how to apply.
Published at Mon, 22 Feb 2021 08:31:49 +0000