Welcome to the World wins ATM Draper-Aladdin Startup Competition

Welcome to the World wins ATM Draper-Aladdin Startup Competition

Welcome to the World has been named the first winner of the ATM Draper-Aladdin Startup Competition, which saw a selection of the region’s most innovative travel and tourism start-ups deliver pitches on the ATM Travel Tech Stage for the chance to secure up to USD 500,000.

A total of 15 finalists gave presentations in front of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022’s panel of fice industry judges, including: Alaa Ismail Al Haija, founder and CEO of AladdinB2B, SalesMENA and the Draper-Aladdin Startup Competition; Hadi Saeed AlShakhori, business incubation manager at Wa’ed; Walid Tarabih, founder and CEO of PLATX, and former advisor to the prime minister’s office of the UAE; Matthew Gardiner, founder of A1 AI; and Bashar Sami El-Khasawneh, associate professor at Khalifa University.

The judges assessed pitches from a range of startups, which – in addition to ‘Welcome to the World’ – included AirportAssist.com, Elves, Gauvendi, Hotailors, Lykos, Octoos, OnArrival, Road.Travel, SmartGuide, SLF, S-Rate, Teamatix, Telgani and Travelexic.

‘Welcome to the World’ aims to solve the problem of high rates of commission charged by online travel agencies (OTA). Described by its founder and CEO Stefanie Schachtschabel as ‘YouTube for tourism’, the platform enables tourism businesses and travel influencers to drive direct bookings commission-free by sharing videos.

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Schachtschabel said: “We are in the midst of our seed round, which means we are onboarding investment. These funds will be used to build state-of-the-art technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to monetise our data, and also to scale our business to the 48 destinations that we are currently targeting.”

‘Welcome to the World’ currently boasts more than 185,000 monthly users, having already attracted brands such as Anantara Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Accor, Address Hotels + Resorts, W Hotels, Radisson Blu and Ritz-Carlton Dubai.

The investment gained as part of the first ever ATM Draper-Aladdin Startup Competition follows USD 264,000 already secured as part of the firm’s pre-seed round.

After taking first place at the ATM Draper-Aladdin Startup Competition, ‘Welcome to the World’ will now have the opportunity to compete for a further USD 500,000 of investment as part of hit TV show, Meet the Drapers.

Digital tour guide platform SmartGuide and route marketplace Road.Travel came in second and third place, respectively.

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