Thomas Young, CEO at TapTrip tells us about bringing together the best and brightest minds in travel technology to create superior business travel solution.
How are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Thomas Young: We are strong as we’ve got something important on our minds… We are deep in wedding planning, as my fiancée and I plan to get married in Crete in September 2022. Plus, we have two dogs that keep us on our toes constantly! Thankfully we live in the Peak District, so our evening walks are always in scenic places.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded TapTrip.
Thomas Young: I’m a 26 years old entrepreneur from Manchester. I’ve always been on the pathway to building my own business. I started my first company when I was 18 years old. This raised initial funding from Oxford Technology Management after Lucius Cary OBE decided to give me a chance. It was way too early in my journey, and that company ultimately failed!
I then started my 2nd company a few years later. We raised funding from Techstars & Virgin Media. The company became London’s number 1 phone repair service. I left the company back in 2016, and the company was ultimately acquired by Unipart Group a few years later.
After this journey, I started working in Product Management. I worked for a Series B stage startup and then found myself working at Booking.com!
In 2018, I started TapTrip. After losing my Dad to heart disease and my Mum to lung cancer a short few months later, I used my personal situation to focus my mind on creating my next venture, which ultimately became TapTrip!
How does TapTrip innovate?
Thomas Young: We are changing a legacy industry. An industry plagued by poor experience, near extinct technology (as would be described in other industries), and high prices. Our solution brings the latest technology and user experience to an industry in need of disruption while driving down costs and improving efficiencies for our clients.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Thomas Young: I personally believed that Covid was going to destroy our business. Business travel came to a complete standstill, however, we didn’t let this get in the way of success. We diversified and found pockets of niche travel that needed serving. We particularly focused on essential travel for maritime, energy & resources travel for key workers with a new product called Vessul.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Thomas Young: Thankfully, no! We never made any redundancies. In July 2020, we raised a further £1.7million investment to help us continue our growth, which helped grow our team from 7 people in May 2020 to 19 people by September 2020.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Thomas Young: We changed our model completely. Prior to covid, we serviced our own customers. However, over the past 12 months, we have changed our focus to partner and resell our services through existing travel management companies. This means we’ve become a technology supplier, but the customer relationship is now directly with the travel management company. This has allowed us to focus on what matters most for our business and, ultimately, our new partners, the travel management companies.