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Raymond Zeitouni and Shantal Jordana had already planned to go to a bachelorette party. And it was canceled! The wedding too. So they started thinking about all the guests who would lose their flights and their money. So in November 2016, Refly was born: a platform for the resale of airline tickets.
During the health emergency due to COVID-19, this Mexican startup supported those who had to cancel flights. Information on how to travel safely is provided to people who need to travel to work or for emergencies.
When Raymond and Shantal found out they could no longer go to the bachelorette party, they tried to sell their flights on WhatsApp and Facebook, but failed. They saw a great opportunity and decided to create a platform that would connect people who want to sell their plane tickets with buyers (mostly millennials) who want to travel much cheaper.
“If you want to cancel a flight with an airline, they cannot return what you have already paid for. There are no refunds or cancellations. They offer you to change your itinerary at a very high cost or leave your flight open, but you may never take it again, “Refly co-founder Shantal Jordana said in an interview for in Spanish.
Those who sell their flights in Refly choose to win back 20% to 70% of their flight tickets as they’d rather win something than lose everything. On the other hand, users can buy domestic and international flights with up to 70% discount.
“Sellers must factor in the cost of changing the name of the new passenger in the total price. as well as the commission for Refly of 10% plus VAT (only if you sell your flight) ”, says the entrepreneur.
Refly’s initial investment was 400,000 pesos. Along the way, they have sold over 12 million pesos on flights and have over 100,000 downloads of their application. On social networks, the Refly community has more than 500,000 visitors and the refly.me website has more than 50,000 visits per month. What’s the next step for this company? Reselling other means of transport and accommodation that are no longer used.
Your successes and keys to success
Raymond Zeitouni and Shantal Jordana were selected to participate in 2019 Shark tank Mexico and they completed a pesos 600,000 investment with Dux Capital, a fund owned by businessman Marcus Dantus, which invested capital against a percentage of the company.
In addition, Refly 2019 was one of the 35 startups selected by the accelerator MassChallenge Mexico worldwide. In 2017, it reached first place in Posible 2017, the Televisa accelerator designed to inspire, identify and support entrepreneurs. In the same year they were part of INCAccelerator, a program for the best startups in Latin America that offers acceleration and connections to different actors in one place.
“We are guided a lot by two things: the persistence to move forward. First we sold 10 flights in one day and then 120. We mustn’t despair. Sometimes you progress little by little, but you have to take small beginnings seriously, ”says Shantal.
The second key is passion – he adds – “The founders have a passion for travel, innovation and creating something new in the world of tourism. There was a problem accidentally and we found the solution. ”
The biggest challenge for these business owners is to let people know that Refly exists so that they can easily and safely resell their flights. “Our challenge is to spread the brand. Reach the 3.3 billion passengers in the world every year; and the 6% who do not board their flight (all of these people exit 100 million resale flights per year, according to Federal Aviation Administration statistics from 2018). ”
Another thing Refly does to get known is to provide courtesies or discounts on flights to public figures. Refly in return for promoting the app on their social networks. You will also generate more sales through ambassadors selling the airline tickets published on the platform.
Marcus Dantus, the “shark” of Shark tank Mexico and CEO of Startup México, in an interview for Comments on the entrepreneurs at Refly: “They are young people with a passion for what they do, they are inventive and really want to get ahead.”
Regarding this flight resale company, Marcus expresses that the potential of the business is huge and global too. “In my opinion, companies lose between 3 and 5% of their flights. These tickets can be bought by many young people who want to fly cheaply. The challenge for Raymond and Shantal is that they have a lot more deals on airline tickets and sell other kinds of things like accommodations or train tickets that you don’t use, ”concludes the businessman.
Raymond Zeitouni and Shantal Jordana / Image: Courtesy of Refly
How does Refly work?
If you want to sell airline tickets
- Create an account at refly.me
- Upload your flight information
- Wait for your ad to be authorized
- Change the name of the new passenger
- Receive your payment
* With the guarantee of getting your money when your flight is sold.
If you want to buy tickets
- Create an account with Refly
- Enter your contact details
- Find the flight of your interest
- Make the payment online
- Wait for the name of your flight tickets to change
* With a guarantee that if you don’t receive the flight on your behalf within 48 hours, you will be refunded 100% of your money.