A group of Griffith graduates dropped everything to move to Finland to pursue their dream of launching a travel app.
It has more than paid off with their app ‘Ventoura’ worth $2 million just two weeks after it launched. And more success is set to come as the team prepares to expand Ventoura to the USA and Asia later this year.
The Griffith graduates Raymond Siems (Bachelor of Engineering), Jamin Wood (Bachelor of Engineering), Hector Ren (Bachelor of Information Technology) and Wenchao Chen (Bachelor of Multimedia and Information Technology )struck up a unique business partnership while working together on Griffith’s Gold Coast campus during the summer semester of 2013/14.
The Ventoura app allows travellers to connect with people who live at their holiday destination area and have the “awesome experiences” only local knowledge can provide. It also matches up travellers who are going to the same place at the same time.
“The app gives travellers the opportunity to connect with locals and unlock the secrets of a destination, while also opening up social discovery and the chance to meet like minded travellers,” Raymond said.
The concept for Ventoura was a joint development by the founding team. Raymond said he had often thought about the ideas behind the app after finding a niche in the travel market while backpacking around Europe, but it wasn’t until he met his now co-founders that together the four of them had the skills and talent required to make the dream a reality.
“It’s a great case of international and domestic students teaming up to do something they wouldn’t have otherwise done,” he said.
“It was a fun, ambitious idea among friends that has led to something much more. The idea was a collaborative one — we each bring something to the team.”
Last year the group decided to quit their full time jobs to take the European market by storm.
Ventura capitalist interest in Helskini saw them move to Finland in August 2014.
After an extensive development stage Ventoura was officially launched on March 27.
The $2 million valuation is a result of outsider investments into the company. But their profits are set to increase with their business model seeing them net 18 per cent from all tour transactions that occur through the app.
“We are a long way from actual success, but it’s been beyond what we could have expected so far,” Raymond said.
The Ventoura team now consists of 12 members, with six Griffith Alumni.