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Meet The Travel Startups in Kazakhstan

Founders pitch at Almaty Travel Massive
Created by Ian, Leonid Pustov
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Here’s a few highlights from Almaty Travel Massive’s recent startup pitch night (July 26) featuring travel startups from Central Asia — thanks to over 40 members and 7 startups who joined us in the evening!

The Almaty Travel Startup Scene

The event provided an opportunity for tourism professionals in Almaty to hear about the latest startups being developed in Kazakhstan and the region:

1. ApartX (pitch by Togzhan Saparali)
SaaS platform to automate property rent process that includes PMS system, self checkin options etc.

2. Dem AL (pitch by Oleg Shulyak)
An online service for the local community aimed at finding hiking and bicycle tourist routes in Kazakhstan.

3. Go2Travel (pitch by Alex Lapin)
A smart planner for local tours and unusual vacations and aggregator of local tour operators and PMS.

4. MTour (pitch by Almas Matakbayev)
A local marketplace for finding a place of treatment and integrated business management system for properties and tour operators.

5. Sintor (pitch by Maksat Tabylganov)
A platform for travel agents for selling rail tickets in Kazakhstan.

6. TrustContract (pitch by Chingiz Dauletbaev)
An online service for signing contracts via SMS/One-Time Password applied for travel businesses.

7. VOCA (pitch by Temirlan Berkimbayev)
Tours and activities marketplace with the functions of an individual customized approach to travel planning.

🎥 See below for photos and video recordings of the pitches.

Special thanks to our supporters

  • Thanks to SmartPoint for hosting our event in their modern co-working hub.
  • A huge thanks to the startups who came along to pitch 🙌
  • Thanks to 40+ Travel Massive members who participated in the discussion and networking.
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Founder, Travel Massive

🎥 Here's the recordings of the pitches below.

😅 We had a couple of technical issues with the microphone input, but in the spirit of entrepreneurship you have to embrace failure and keep going!

SaaS platform to automate property rent process with PMS and self checkin.
Note: Apologies for the poor audio quality, we had some technical issues at the start.

A smart planner for local tours and unusual vacations + aggregator of local tours.
Note: Filming starts a minute in to the pitch.

A local marketplace for finding health treatments and management system.
Note: Local language (Russian)

A platform for travel agents for selling rail tickets in Kazakhstan.
Note: Local language (Russian)

An online service for signing contracts via SMS/One-Time Password.

Tours and activities marketplace with customized travel planning.

1 month ago (edited)
Founder, Travel Massive

👇 Here's a quick back-story to this event:

Sometimes when you travel without a plan, amazing things can happen.

After my trip to Europe in July, Leonid Pustov (@leonid-pustov) invited me to hang out in Kyrgyzstan. "Sure, why not!". It was in the direction I was heading (back to Australia), and I was really curious about Central Asia. So I booked the tickets and a few days later turned up in Bishkek, where Leonid ordered me a Yandex Go (there's no Ubers) to Issyk Kul, a large lake about 300km drive nestled between tall mountain ranges. A few hours later I arrived and was greeted by Leonid and his wife Aselia, and we caught up over the afternoon swimming at the lake and hanging out.

The plan was to head back to Bishkek by train the next day, stay a night, then take a taxi to the border of Kazakhstan, and another taxi to Almaty, the old capital and largest city of Kazakhstan. I would fly back to Australia from Almaty a few days later. An excellent plan, with 800km of land travel (some of it not sealed) in 37 degrees (C) of Central Asian summer 😅 Luckily I was in good hands.

As we were heading to Kazakhstan, Leonid explained, we should organise an Almaty Travel Massive meetup while I was in town. A small chapter was started last year by Yerkin Tikenov (@yerkintikenov) and the city, I was told, had a bustling startup scene.

"Let's do it!", I said — and so we started planning the event. Leonid hit up the TM Telegram group (few people WhatsApp in this part of the world) to let them know we were coming. People in Almaty decide their plans last-minute, and sure enough, within a couple of days over 40 registered and 6 startups applied to pitch.

The meetup was hosted at SmartPoint, a large co-working venue that was full of startup founders and entrepreneurs. We started the meetup with some introductions, and then I got a few minutes to share the story of how I started Travel Massive. The audience was mostly Kazakh/Russian-speaking so Pavel from Tripster kindly translated for me.

Yerkin (who is studying a PhD in Tourism) and me presented Travel Massive's 2023 Trends List (it's coming out soon!) and presented some topics such as Accessible Travel, Slow Travel, and Nomad Apps. This research was really fun to share, and to see what trends people in the audience were interested in.

We then went into the pitches, and heard from 7 local startups (see the list in the post above). Most decided to pitch in English (for practice) and for me it was fascinating to learn about the kinds of problems and approaches startups are making in Central Asia. All the startups had a great sense of optimism for tourism opportunities in the region, and having only spent a few days here, I can understand why — the influx of talent and capital (many Russian businesses moved to Kazakhstan) has created a tech and travel boom in Central Asia. This is a significant trend in travel, imo.

After the event, we headed out to dinner with some of the attendees and startups at a nearby restaurant, and hung out eating and drinking until 12.30am. As always, it's the post-event networking that forges the best discussions and relationships, and for Almaty Travel Massive it was no different. I love how the TM community works!

I'm sure I'll return to Almaty again and am looking forward to keeping in touch with everyone that I met. I highly recommend a visit, if you haven't been.

A huge thanks to Leonid and Yerkin for bringing together the Almaty Travel Massive!

1 month ago
Tourism Consultant, Australia Travel Foundation

Incredible event and travel story Ian!

1 month ago
Business Development, Travel Startups

I would like to thank all founders for their pitches and highlight a few general trends:

1) Orientation to the market of tours and activities, as one of the important segments of the local travel market.

2) Automation of narrow segments of accommodation - renting apartments, booking sanatoriums.

3) The need to automate suppliers for the development of online distribution. To build distribution, startups have to develop not only online booking services, but back-office systems for tour operators and accommodation facilities.

1 month ago
Content & Community Manager, Travel Massive

It's super interesting to see the startup pitches and how motivated the founders are! Looks like we'll see even more great innovations from Central Asia soon 👏

Dem AL - finding hiking and bicycle tourist routes in Kazakhstan, is on my bookmarks now 🚴‍♀️

1 month ago
Founder, CityHook

Great to see this! Fair play @Ian for the recordings

1 month ago