Startup Stage: Basubu is a marketplace for wellness travel – PhocusWire

Basubu’s founders say as a result of the pandemic they noticed increased demand for travel built around wellness experiences, such as yoga, meditation, painting, cooking, hiking and more. 
The site launched in September 2021 and provides information and booking of hundreds of retreats in locations around North and Central America, Europe and Asia.
What is your 30-second pitch to investors? 
We’re building the go-to brand for booking activity travel. Yoga and wellness is just the starting point.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.
We help people find the perfect retreat, while helping organizers market their retreats to a larger audience. This all takes place through the online marketplace that is our website.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.
Strengths – Basubu is led by vastly experienced founders who are focused on maximizing the startup’s potential.
Weaknesses – Basubu is a fairly new platform but gaining insight daily.
Opportunities – To build an online marketplace for yoga and wellness retreats that is easy to navigate and has the best interests in mind for both host and guest.
Threats – The ever-changing travel landscape as of late. We have robust cancellation policies in place to protect both the host and the guests.
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?
For consumers, we are providing them with the world’s best retreats all in one place. Additionally, we make it super easy to book and communicate with hosts. For the retreat hosts, we are exposing them to a relevant audience to promote their retreats to. We have an engaged host support team and an easy-to-use platform. 
So you’ve got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?
Through a selective marketing strategy focusing on SEO to ensure we are targeting the right audience.
Tell us what process you’ve gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
After selling their previous business, Basubu co-founders noticed the demand for wellness-related holidays as a result of the pandemic. The team spent two months thoroughly testing the idea with a basic prototype of the website and only 15 retreats to begin with.

Running Google ads to support the idea, the website generated over £10,000 in bookings for our retreat hosts. This made it very clear that there was great opportunity in the space and enabled the team to feel comfortable committing to the idea long-term. Basubu’s first booking occurred in just a few days and was valued at £1,500. This high-value purchase showed there was a level of trust in Basubu that indicated big possibilities for the future.
How and when will you make money?
When a host secures a booking through us, we receive commission. Therefore our interests are aligned with theirs. 
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?
George Burgess has extensive startup experience. He previously built and sold @GojimoApp, @EdTechExchange and @TheIntroApp. Patrick Gleeson has built technology for over a dozen start-ups and been through multiple successful exits and he specializes in using data-driven decisions to help early-stage companies find product-market fit.
How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your business?
Diversity and inclusion is something we discuss regularly and continuously take steps to address.
What’s been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?
Post pandemic travel is inherently still quite complicated. With rules and regulations changing daily and from country to country, it can be difficult to keep up. Because of this, Basubu has put plans in place to help travelers book with confidence. Guests will receive a full refund if they cannot attend their retreat due to government restrictions. Furthermore, each host has their own additional cancellation policies and protections in place, with Bausbu always encouraging maximum flexibility.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making an impact – so why are you going to be one of the lucky ones?
Basubu is led by experienced founders who are committed to creating a platform that improves the browsing and booking process for travelers. 
A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in? 
In a year’s time we’ll be expanding internationally.
What is your end-game? 
In the travel industry there’s plenty of opportunities when it comes to the “end-game.” It’s not something we worry about now. We’re focused on building a high quality, rapidly growing company.


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