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Jubel, a Mexican-Uruguayan travel platform, raises US$300 thousand on Shark Tank

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Contxto – Multifaceted travel startup, Jubel, recently raised 6 million pesos (approximately US$300 thousand) on Shark Tank Mexico.

In Summary

Mexican José Pablo Toscano and Uruguayan Nicolás Bergengruen launched the digital travel agency in 2015 after meeting each other in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the time, both were students at different U.S. universities.

From there sprung Jubel. The use of artificial intelligence and a proprietary database allows travelers to create customized trips with intricate itineraries, all according to style, budget, and likings. With personalized routes, curated destinations, cost-effective values, as well as time-saving, travelers can effectively tailor their next vacation over the do-it-yourself platform.

Investors included Arturo Elías Ayub and Rodrigo Herrera from the television series. Each of these “sharks” will put down 3 million pesos, respectively. This is the highest investment so far on the latest season of Shark Tank Mexico where entrepreneurs pitch product proposals to venture capital sponsors.

Ayub and Herrera will each own 10 percent of the Jubel in the end. If Toscano and Bergengruen triple the amount of the investment in a year, however, the founders will have the option of repurchasing shares.

With Jubel, customers first submit a survey about their preferences, such as the regions and countries they’d like to visit. From there, a sales representative will personally communicate with customers to complete the details and provide a proposal.

In-Depth

Transparent prices, no budget minimums, low planning fees, and digital solutions are some of Jubel’s conveniences.

“The user arrives at the website and enters their detailed preferences, from their budget to what kind of experience they’re seeking, whether it be a beach, adventure, culture,” said Toscano, who left his job at JP Morgan on Wall Street to start the company. “We take all of this into account, so once you tell us what you’re looking for, we recommend itineraries.”

Once customers accept a package and embark on a trip, they encounter various sealed envelopes at stops throughout the itinerary. These envelopes will guide them to their next destination as if it were some action-adventure game.

All the while, they will include recommendations for restaurants, sightseeing, tours, etc. Customers can decide whether to accept these tips or simply continue traveling.

Both under 30 years old, Toscano and Bergengruen founded the company in 2015 with their private savings. At the time, this was an accumulative US$50 thousand. Prior to their success on Shark Tank Mexico, though, they had raised approximately US$200 thousand.

Half of this came from Capital Innovators and the other half through a MicroVentures equity crowdfunding campaign with around 230 investors, according to Toscano in an exclusive correspondence.

Jubel is part of Capital Innovators portfolio, a venture capital firm based in St. Louis, Missouri. It participated in the group’s 2018 Demo Day along with 11 other startups, all of whom were selected out of 860 applicants from 56 countries and 35 states.

Over time, Jubel has also worked with around 500 travelers. Sales multiplied from US$25 thousand in 2015 to US$620 thousand in 2018. Headquartered in Chula Vista, California, goals for this year include tripling sales and earning average tickets of US$3,500.

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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