After a long seven years, London Business School claims back the European Business Plan competition of the year. The School was represented by Sunil Oberoi (EMBA 2014), Finnbar Cornwall (MBA 2014), Rami Banna (MBA 2015), Thomas Portier (MiM 2014) and Gerrard Clark (MiM 2014).
ITnery was started during the Entrepreneurship Summer School in 2013 and won the School’s internal new venture competition earlier in the year. ITnery is a B2B online marketplace for the global travel trade, connecting boutique hotels to tour operators. The platform is already live and processing bookings. The business raised funds through a heavily oversubscribed seed round in mid February this year.
Sunil Oberoi, Founder and CEO, is now in discussion with several of the Competition judges who – having read the Plan and seen the team in action – are interested in supporting the growth of the business in its next phase of expansion. They join investors from the last round who want to participate in the next round.
ITnery fills a growing need in the market. As more and more people are looking for off-the-beaten-track travel experiences, the number of boutique hotels and specialist tour operators is growing significantly yet communication between them is currently cumbersome. ITnery facilitates the sales of room inventory within these niche growing segments. The ambition of the founding team is to scale the platform to include exotic and unique accommodation options like Amazon villas, Safari lodges, Moroccan Kasbahs, Galapagos boats, etc.
The two main travel trade Associations (European Tour Operator Association and Association of Independent Tour Operators) have shown strong support for ITnery. Exceptionally, the company has been approved to become an affiliate of both Associations after just six months of being in operation. This endorsement is of great value to ITnery since their Members are the target group for ITnery.
“Beyond the LBS student community, we were lucky to have faculty support through the Entrepreneurship Summer School, Financing the Entrepreneurial Business, New Venture Development, E100, the Incubator, and alumni support.” said Sunil. “The School is fabulously fertile ground for new ventures.”
Beyond Sunil, the start-up currently has a full time CTO with extensive travel tech experience. A full time sales & marketing manager from the travel industry was a recent addition. Four full time developers, one part-time UX designer and one part-time cloud administrator are other key members of the team. Over a dozen LBS students have helped the start-up during the past year and the business is looking for more help on an ongoing basis.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the management team on a full-time basis or are interested in an internship, please contact Sunil Oberoi. With demand for ITnery’s services growing they need to operationalise and scale fast – and the company has openings in all areas including Strategy, Operations, Finance, Marketing, PR and Sales. You may also end up getting discount deals for some hidden exotic holidays!