Ankesh Kumar is the founder of Slide.travel, combining his passion for travel with an extensive background in startup investment — having raised $50m in venture funding and sold patents to Google. Ankesh grew up in London and traveled extensively as his father worked for Air India, and now lives in Silicon Valley, California.
In this interview we ask Ankesh about the origins of Slide.travel, and about their new partnership model with content creators to monetize trip ideas and questions from travelers.
Travel influencers and content creators possess valuable insights gained from their experiences — they can enrich the adventure for others visiting the same destinations.
Our mission is to empower influencers by helping them monetize their insights, allowing them to share unique ideas with travelers.
When individuals plan their journeys, they frequently seek recommendations and inspiration that go beyond typical tourist destinations. Even if they decide to explore popular spots, navigating these areas can be challenging. Slide.travel connects travelers with individuals who have firsthand knowledge, offering valuable suggestions that elevate the entire travel experience.
Slide.travel makes it easy for travel Influencers to create a monetizable travel plan.
As far as we are aware, we are the only travel planning app that lets travel influencers monetize their insights. We also allow travel influencers a deeper connection with their followers, as they answer their questions for a fee.
My wife Abha can be credited with the genesis behind Slide.travel and is always on the lookout for things to do where we live, or when we travel. Like most of us, Abha watches TV shows that recommend local restaurants, reads newspapers, gets recommendations from friends, family and work colleagues.
Unfortunately she did not have a simple way to store these recommendations — they would be in emails, WhatsApp messages, text messages, Google Maps or photos. We wanted to solve the problem of storing things to do in an easy way that’s accessible to everyone that’s interested.
Here’s a short video of how Slide.travel works:
Travel influencers can import their trip ideas from Google Maps, photos and saved links into Slide.travel to create a trip plan with a description and optional video. The trip plan can be purchased on the Slide.travel website or their own blog.
🤑 The influencer can set the price of their trip plan as well as a fee to answer questions asked by travelers. Travel influencers receive 90% of the revenue, and Slide.travel receives 10%. We pay out to PayPal.
How it works:
Trip ideas help travelers with suggestions of things to do in that particular destination as a starting point. Using Slide.travel, travelers can then add additional ideas from their own research and suggestions from friends and family.
We’re looking for partners who want to help develop a solution to benefit the travel content creation industry, and to be a part of our journey from the early stages (this means, some patience as we develop things with your input).
👉 Learn more about our partnerships at slide.travel/travel-influencers
When a traveler asks a question, we ask the question to ChatGPT in the style of the travel influencer. We provide the answer for the influencer to help them modify the answer and respond (this is patent pending technology). The influencer sets the price of answering questions.
We see the combination of AI and insights from real people providing the best travel content and experience. AI can’t take photos, videos or explain the emotions one feels when travelling.
During our early stage product development we worked closely with Carolyn Scott-Hamilton — TV show host, travel expert and blogger behind the Healthy Voyager. Carolyn’s blog is about healthy living and travel, and she has visited over a hundred destinations and written detailed blog posts about her knowledge of these places.
Example: Carolyn’s blog post Dubai Dwelling monetizes her travel ideas by offering them as suggestions to her followers. Viewers can purchase these trip ideas, add their own ideas, and even ask Carolyn questions for a small fee.
Working with Carolyn is a great example of how we’re building with creators. Our product roadmap will be decided by feedback from early adopters and partners, and we’ll develop features that we feel will be useful to them.
Our family has been traveling to Maui for the last two decades and have many friends on the Island. We were, as many others, devastated with the Lahaina fire. So maybe “excited” to go may not be the right word, but I’m looking forward to seeing our friends and seeing what we can do to help them.
One lesser-known destination that I want to visit is Bhutan. I’ve always wanted to visit the Himalayas and Bhutan, which offers unspoilt beauty and a rich culture and heritage.
If you’re visiting California, I always suggest a drive down Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz and Carmel/Monterey.
— Thanks, Ankesh for sharing your insights!
👉 Learn more about Slide.travel’s partnership program or try out their free app to keep track of your travel ideas.