Carry (YC S19) – We Book Travel for You on Slack

Hey HN! We're Tejas and Kashish, co-founders of Carry (https://carry.travel).

Carry is your executive assistant for travel. Just message us (i.e. "I need to be in Boston for a meeting at 2pm on July 1st"), and we'll get everything done for you— flights, trains, cars, hotels, Airbnbs... you name it. Carry is not a chat bot— we function like a traditional agency with in-house travel agents, but unlike traditional travel agencies that use terminals (similar to Bloomberg in Finance) or manually search websites like Expedia, we're building in-house tools to make our agents' jobs easier and help them work faster. Imagine automatically going from a customer message ("I need to be in Boston Tuesday for a 10am meeting and return for a 9am meeting Friday") to parsed trip requirements (from: SFO, to: BOS, arrive by: 10am, return by: 9am) that are then merged with your calendar and user preferences to search all data sources. Our agents then interpret the results and propose options to the user. Over time, we want to add more automation and intelligence using each user interaction as training data (but first we need volume... lol).

We built Carry because we hate booking travel— it's just way too time-consuming and inefficient. It's tedious to check multiple sites (Skiplagged, Google Flights, Skyscanner, etc.) before finding the cheapest price, filling out all of the airline information, and then, searching for a place to stay. And, even when you have all the information, choice paralysis prevails.

9 months ago, we set out to build a chat bot because we asked ourselves "Why can't Siri book travel?" Working backwards, we quickly realized why bots don't work— they're robotic, formulaic, and take lots of back and forth to convey what you want. We also realized that consumers don't know what they want, which makes it really hard to choose travel options for them. With these learnings in mind, we looked to corporate travel agencies for inspiration.

It turns out 70% of corporate travel is booked without any tool or agency— employees book their own travel and expense it. The other 30% uses tools at two ends of the spectrum— 1 old school travel agencies (think phone calls) 2) new-age corporate travel portals (imagine a clunky, worse Google Flights). We found that no one actually wants to use these tools— they just have to, and that the only people who were satisfied with the state of things were folks who had assistants they could offload the work onto.

Thus, we decided we'd create an assistant for everyone. Carry is the first travel tool built for employees-first. Employees get all the points, all the options, and the ability to save time an assistant provides. So far, we've been working with corporations directly, but today, we're doing a soft launch of Carry for individuals with a waitlist at https://carry.travel. That said, for the HN community, just email me (tejas [at] carry [dot] travel) if you want to start using us for work immediately.

If you travel frequently (or even if you don't!), we'd love to hear about the inefficiencies and pain points you've experienced while traveling that you wish a product like Carry could solve. We want to hear your feedback on the product and work with you all to develop features to save even more time.



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andrey azimov by Andrey Azimov