Have you ever turned up at the airport, bags packed, sunglasses perched on your head, but with no idea where you’ll be spending the next two weeks? Not many of us have. But that’s what happened when James Gillard (pictured above left) signed up to a new business idea from Ed Tribe (pictured above right) and Megha Chaturvedi (pictured above centre).
“We sent him to Indonesia for two weeks,” says Ed. “It was a big trip but James loved the concept and the business grew from there.”
Ed, James and Megha co-founded travel-tech company Journee in 2019. “We send people on exciting trips to mystery destinations,” says Ed. “People complete a 15 minute online form, which can highlight their love of the sea or the mountains or certain types of cities, then we match them to a location and send them their destination and itinerary in an envelope a week before they travel. However, around 80% of people only open the envelope when they arrive at the airport.”
So far, Journee has sent people to 52 destinations. It organises flights, accommodation and activities for groups up to four. Journee recently raised £1.75 million to scale the company. They plan to increase spend on marketing and sustaining their team, made up of 16 people. Journee is a Starling business customer.
A love of travel
The co-founders previously worked together at Depop, an app-based marketplace for second-hand and vintage clothing. “I knew that the next move would be to do my own thing,” says Ed.
He has always been interested in travelling and found common ground with his colleague Megha when she joined Depop. “She’d take a Friday afternoon off, go straight from the office to the airport, spend the weekend in Slovenia or Montenegro and fly back at 4am on Monday morning.” Megha, 33, has travelled to more than 50 countries. James, 29, also loves to explore different cultures, a passion that underpins the business.