Startup Spotlight - Canny Travel

September 11, 2018
Charlotte Dougall
Charlotte Dougall

Founder of Blether, helping small businesses do big things online.

The RookieOven Startup Spotlight highlights a member of the Scottish tech startup community, looking at who they are, what they do and where they do it. Scotland is home to some incredible startup talent, and here at RookieOven, we want to shout about them from the rooftops. Today, we're talking to Sabrina from Canny Travel.

Tell us a bit about your startup and what you do...

No one anticipates having to cancel travel plans when we're booking them but for a myriad of reasons, plans can and do change. Cancelling a flight or holiday can be stressful and expensive leaving you paying for up to 100% of a holiday you can't use. When it comes to cancellation fees, the more money you save the less money the travel provider can keep hold of, plus they can often resell the booking after you cancel.

At Canny Travel we help our customers to reduce the financial loss and hassle typically associated with cancelling flights and holidays. We offer free advice and guidance for those having to cancel and services through which we actively work to avoid and minimise cancellation costs on our customers' behalf. Sometimes we'll look to transfer a booking to someone else so it doesn't need to be cancelled at all. This way both parties save money. In other instances we working to minimise the cancellation fees charged where cancelling is unavoidable.

What was the inspiration behind your startup?

While working for a large UK Tour Operator I spoke with lots of customers having to cancel at up to 100% loss, usually through no fault of their own. Then I myself had to spend a week in the hospital, rather than on a beach in the Algarve. I claimed on my comprehensive insurance cover but I still lost over £200. I decided to use my experience as an after sales adviser, my knowledge of travel rights and complex booking conditions to help others save time, money and hassle in similar situations.

How did you fund your startup?

Our funding to date has come from a variety of sources. A small business loan, directors investment and a small friends & family round were used to get past proof of concept stage and develop our platform.

What is the current state of play?

We have recently moved into new office premises in Dundonald and grown into a team of three. We have some exciting trials underway with new customer groups and service line which is delivering promising early results and revenues.

We'd love to add some Senior Engineer talent to the team in the next few months to help us scale up our platform.

What does the startup look like in 12 months?

Over the next 12 months, we're focused on adding new partnerships to deliver an enhanced cancellation experience for consumers across the UK. We're working on becoming the first place people go when they need to cancel a travel plan.

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