Thrillophilia's Funding Saga to 53 Takeoffs Organic Growth: A Tale of Success!


In this vast prospect of startups and entrepreneurship, quite often, success stories revolve around securing massive funding rounds. However, there exists a section where there are some companies which thrive on determination, innovative strategies, and organic growth.

In 2010, two visionaries set out on a journey to redefine India's travel experiences. Little did they know, their venture would evolve into something far beyond their initial expectations.

This is Thrillophilia’s funding journey, the subsequent evolution of 53Takeoffs, and its remarkable sustainability without any outside capital! This is also the story of two founders who are not only redefining India's travel experiences but are also creating a playbook for sustainable, organic growth in the startup world.

Adversity Breeds Innovation: The Funding Journey of Thrillophilia

Launched by Chitra Gurnani Daga and Abhishek Daga, Thrillophilia began its journey as an experiential, activity-based holiday service provider in 2010.

What started as a part-time venture with Rs 5 lakh seed capital from personal savings and contributions from family and friends, became a market leader in the activities and experiences services in less than a decade.

Initially focused on experiences, the company raised a significant $1.2 million in 2013 and 2015, anticipating rapid growth in the activities market. Thrillophilia's user base had surpassed 3 million, with a diversified variety of 12,500 activities spread across 125+ destinations. It maintained an extraordinary growth trajectory, with a 200 percent year-over-year expansion rate.

Despite having achieved market leadership in the activities & travel experience category and having undergone two fundraising rounds, the year of 2019 brought forth a realization : the need to innovate beyond the existing limitation in the activities market.

The path to transformation was not easy for them. Attempts to secure funding in 2017-18 from not less than 50 investors proved futile.

To top it all was the onset of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the halting sales which made investors more apprehensive about the company's future. Amidst this, the founders kept brainstorming a wide spectrum of ideas and concepts- from forming a homestay management company to developing luxury tour companies.

Birth of India’s Future of Travel: Evolution of 53 Takeoffs

Adversity sparked innovation as Chitra and Abhishek fearlessly pressed on, giving rise to 53Takeoffs —a digital-first travel conglomerate, primed to revolutionize the market.

Recognizing the growing demand for journeys that mirror individual tastes and preferences, the founders ventured into launching 53Takeoffs in 2021 that shuns the cookie-cutter approach of standardized travel.

The introduction of groundbreaking multi-day tours with a seller partner as Thrillophilia, propelled the company 53Takeoffs to new heights. This product rapidly outshone competitors and drove profits skyward. The profits became the fuel for expansion and diversification, launching new verticals in different categories.

Abhishek Daga, co-founder of 53Takeoffs states, “ We have been focusing on crafting personalized trips, everything from accommodations to transfers and activities. To achieve this, 53Takeoffs leverages a robust tech-stack, curating and verifying on-ground supplies tailored to the specific needs of travelers. By harnessing the power of AI and ML algorithms, every aspect of the journey is optimized to perfection.”

53Takeoffs’ Flight to Success & Transformation

Today, 53Takeoffs is a house of digital first travel brands that serves customers in over 75 countries, leveraging expertise in online travel, technology, consumer awareness, and distribution. The company has been working towards building a powerful ecosystem of travel brands without any external funding.

With over 900 team members spread over four locations in Jaipur, 53Takeoffs has swiftly extended its portfolio by introducing new verticals and launching 10+global brands, including MyDubaiPass, RareSafaris, and CoupleEscapes.

In just three years since its inception, 53Takeoffs witnessed a meteoric rise to become India's leading multi-day tours company, catering to over 800,000 travellers in 2023. As per company’s claim, they have achieved a 500+ crore turnover in 2023, which is 2.5 X the last year. During this journey, the founders also orchestrated the buyback of investor shares in Thrillophilia, reclaiming control of their earlier vision.

Mr. Abhishek Daga shares, “53 Takeoffs is set to build a multibillion-dollar travel conglomerate over the next five years. With a vision to create 100+ global brands and achieve a turnover of 25000+ crores by 2027, we are spearheading towards reshaping the way India travels as well as generating revenue and long-term value. “

“Today, whenever we sit back and reflect on the remarkable evolution from Thrillophilia to 53Takeoffs, we are reminded that success is achieved through embracing change and daring to dream '', affirms Mr. Daga.

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