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Helolokal is a community marketplace (currently launched in Malaysia) that connects visitors directly to local hosts through personalized travel services. The platform also showcases local events and activities.
👋 Helolokal is two words combined, “Helo” as in the “Hello” greeting that you give when you see new people and “Lokal” stands for the locals that you meet at the chosen location that you wish to visit.
😎 Helolokal’s hosts set their own fees, and earn 100% from each sale or bookings they made. Hosts pay a monthly fee ($3 - 4/mo) to be listed on the platform.
✊ Our vision and mission is to disrupt over-commercialized tourism with personalized sustainable travel.
Learn more about our story at helolokal.com/about-helolokal/
Hey everyone, I am Angie, the founder of Helolokal from Malaysia.
Here's a quick story about how I started Helolokal, my journey so far, and and why I'm looking for co-founders.
In 2022, I phased out NOT one but two ventures due to the pandemic and also due to a partnership that didn’t go down well as my ex-partner couldn’t commit in growing the business together as he was too comfortable with his existing job.
Starting anew again (not wanting to easily give up) I shifted my focus on becoming a solopreneur instead. I immersed myself in random ideation process in creating multiple online ventures. Most of my ideas revolves around my pain points so that others don’t have to seek solutions themselves.
Coming up with ideas are easy, to refine and monetize them is another story!
With the remaining savings I had, I gave a struggling refugee student that I knew a chance (and the money helped him paid his tuition fees) to help me with the design and set up. We spent months discussing on frames, flows, design and functionalities.
At one point of time, he had to redesign and rework all over again when the hosting company that we use got hacked, and he has forgotten to back up his work. Painful lesson’s learnt.
Since the creation process has limitation in terms of funds and development expertise scarcity, I decided that it will be an MVP phase until traction comes in to prove otherwise.
Lo and behold, enter HELOLOKAL, a travel & events marketplace with a mission to empower locals and small local businesses to earn.
I started off with Helolokal first because I understand the pain of losing income or having little income to sustain. Even after the pandemic and the market is starting to open up, I noticed that there are still many trying to rebuild their lives again. I thought, why not create a platform where people can create “income” for themselves?
Helolokal’s objective is to enable the redistribution of earnings that was once monopolizes by traditional travel companies to the deserving locals from the bookings they successfully secured.
I was once labelled by a local travel agency that I approached to have collaboration with as a "Robin Hood" by doing this. Yes, they didn’t really like that their industry is being disrupted.
What to improve? I understand that we still have lots to improve. Funds are scarce, but I hope to see this small venture grow and make an impactful difference to the deserving community.
But I cannot do this alone. Starting anew again means I have to start all over again from scratch. I would need new capital injection to get things moving. I would need Angels, Super Angels that’s aligned with our goal and mission.
Fresh from partnerships issue last year (2022), I am still contemplating about this co-founders and partners thingy.
Caring friends reckoned that I do not need co-founders or partners, but really, it’s no fun working alone. The business that I have in mind revolves around people/community, therefore its essential to have people running and growing the business together. I don’t mind sharing with one or two likeminded people.
So, I am open to explore welcoming co-founders to complement and grow this venture together as a team.
Why invest in me?
My biggest ventures so far is setting up Hanawomen Hub, a boutique sized women coworking space based in KL Sentral and Hanafundme, a women and causes crowdfunding platform.
I launched and run both side by side. The coworking space was launch months before the pandemic and crowdfunding platform was launch on the first day of MCO in Malaysia.
I successfully managed to put the businesses in media, and drove crowdfunding during pandemic — raising more than RM100,000 [23k USD] on the platform for various causes.
Some news links:
We also had successful collaborations with the country’s leading telco companies during the pandemic.
With this open sharing, I hope to inspire those similar to my situation to not give up!
Go through the recovery process for as long as you want, reflect and plan your next actions, and then get back up again. The journey to success is never a straightforward or direct path.
I am not giving up hope until I achieve my goals. I am in this situation for a reason and I will come back stronger because deep down I have a fighting spirit that will not back down. I will continue to march on!
Hi Angie, I think you might be interested in what we're doing at the UnTours Foundation. You can apply for low interest loans or equity investment at untoursfoundation.org/reset-tourism-fund/ Give us a shout!
Thank you so much for this info Richard! Truly appreciate it. Is it open for Global though? Do I connect with you personally on this? :-)
Yes to global. Some of our most recent collaborations are in Africa, for example.
It’s actually not directly with me, though I’m happy to answer questions - there’s an application process you’ll find in that same Reset Tourism Fund section of the UnTours Foundation website.
Okay will check it out pronto. Will check with you if I need clarification. Thank you.