Altitude Accelerator, MarCom Associate
“Many startups fail because they run out of time. Altitude Accelerator helps propel a company’s progression and get through the challenging years faster, essentially increasing the odds of success.”- James Sauter
During this time of rapid digitalization, data is becoming increasingly critical for businesses to gain market knowledge and appropriately distribute their products and services for sale. In the travel industry, tourism organizations require a wide array of data to determine how to market their destinations in an optimal way and increase tourism numbers.
To learn how data infrastructure companies such as Rove are helping travel organizations become data driven, we had the pleasure of speaking with James Sauter, partner & co-founder of Rove. This blog post will discuss how Rove identified a need in the industry and became a successful company that is now doubling their revenues year over year.
Rove is a data infrastructure company largely focused on travel and tourism. Their clients include large-scale destination management organizations, attractions, and tourism associations that are interested in enhancing the economic value in their region through tourism.
Examples of tourism organizations that Rove provides service to include Visit Wales, Visit Panama, Destination New South Wales, Tourism Fiji, New York State, Travel Oregon, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, Destination British Columbia, and Destination Toronto, to name a few.
To attract visitors, these tourism organizations require a tremendous amount of travel-related data such as flight data, hotel booking data, mobile data, and visitor spending data. However, these organizations frequently lack the infrastructure needed to manage all the data.
Rove assists them by managing, connecting, and automating the required travel-related data. Additionally, Rove visualizes the data on their platform. As a result, travel organizations can spend more time analyzing the data to look for insights that can allow them to make better decisions.
The Path to Success
James and his business partner knew from the beginning that the travel industry is a resilient industry. Evidence for this: although there was a decline in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel industry is making a quick recovery. People are ready to travel again.
When James was first getting started: with widespread digitalization and innovations in air travel, James knew that the tourism sector would continue to grow. After further analyzing the needs in the industry, James and his team realized that data management technology is gaining traction.
The barriers to entry into this business are very high because a high level of knowledge of the tourism industry in combination with data and technology is required. Because of this high entry barrier, Rove only has about three competitors in the world. According to James, “that intersection between tourism, data, and technology is a very small intersection. There’s not a lot of people that play there.”
Focusing on efficiently managing travel data coupled with low competition led Rove to become a leading data infrastructure company in the travel and tourism industry.
How did COVID-19 affect Rove?
According to James, the COVID-19 pandemic had a positive influence on Rove. There was an immediate need for data in the travel sector because the clients needed to understand how the pandemic would impact their business and the economic situation of their region. This led to tourism organizations spending less on advertisements and more on data infrastructure which helped Rove to generate more sales revenue.
Additionally, tourism organizations started to get acclimatized to performing business transactions over online platforms versus the long-time industry standard of in-person travel and meetings! As a result, Rove was able to grow globally by conducting meetings, referrals, and partnerships through virtual communication software such as Zoom.
Altitude Accelerator’s Influence on Rove
According to James, Altitude Accelerator’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Geoff Simonett played a key role in helping James accelerate his venture. James says that, even though he has had other business-related experiences such as sales and marketing, he was new to being an entrepreneur. Geoff inspired James to think strategically for the most efficient results. Geoff also shared his expertise to help James to develop financial models, negotiate shareholder discussions, understand deal structures, and benchmark key metrics. Even today, James continues to meet with Geoff on a monthly basis over breakfast to discuss the trajectory of Rove.
Testimonial from James
“If you are starting a business today, you need to tap into Altitude Accelerator. It should be one of the first things you do.
Working with the team at Altitude Accelerator has provided Rove with knowledge, counsel, and a network to anticipate what challenges lie ahead and be better prepared to overcome them. Our Entrepreneur-in-Residence steered us through very challenging growth stages by asking the right questions at the right time and advising us on what our focus should be at each step of the journey.
Many start ups fail because they run out of time. Altitude Accelerator helps propel a company’s progression and get through the challenging years faster, essentially increasing the odds of success.
Thank for you being a great partner.”
Find out more about James and Rove:
At Altitude Accelerator, we offer programs such as Incubator and Investor Readiness to help you in your entrepreneurial journey. Learn more about our program offerings here.