Meet our founders
What is tripAbrood?
tripAbrood is a travel tech startup looking to make the process of researching and booking a family holiday as seamless as possible. We are doing this by creating a highly personalised virtual travel assistant, matching you to your perfect family holiday. Introducing tripAbrood's two founders...
Alexa-Maria Rathbone Barker
Hi there! My name is Alexa and I’m the CEO & Co-Founder of tripAbrood, a travel tech startup based in London. As well as overseeing the business as a whole, I lead the commercial, go to market & operational areas of tripAbrood. Prior to founding tripAbrood, I was the European Head of Analytics at Bloomberg - the world’s leading financial data provider. I’ve been married to my childhood sweetheart for 14 years now and together we have three precious children.
Culture and travel have always been a massive passion in my life. Being Cuban, Swedish and English, I’ve felt this constant desire to explore and understand different cultures. That led me to learn 4 languages growing up and ultimately inspired me to live and work all around the world. After studying Modern Languages at Oxford, I had the privilege of working in some amazing organisations across FMCG and Fintech. As my career evolved, I found myself running large Sales & Operational divisions that sold and scaled financial data solutions to the world’s largest financial institutions across both Europe and Asia. In fact, it was in Asia (Hong Kong) where I had two of my three children. I’m hugely grateful for all these experiences that have thrown me in the path of so many inspiring people and ultimately led me to do what I’m doing now with tripAbrood.
I remember the exact lightbulb moment when the concept of tripAbrood hit me. I’ll share more about this soon. In a nutshell, after our fair share of holiday disasters including cancelling a holiday in Portugal two hours before the flight as my daughter’s passport had expired (it’s a juicy story - be sure to read more on this one soon!) and unwittingly booking a self-catering apartment overlooking a cemetery on our big trip back to Asia, I became totally convinced that family travel should not be this hard. I did a ton of research speaking to families all over the UK to find out if it was just me who had this problem or if others faced similar challenges. After hearing too many similar stories from families who had given up on travelling with their kids entirely out of sheer frustration, I was determined to make family travel easier and embarked on the journey of founding tripAbrood.
Since then, I’ve partnered up with this awesome guy called Ketan (you can read more about him below) and between us we’ve been on a rollercoaster ride ever since. We closed our first round of funding back in October 2019 and since then we’ve built an incredible team of people across tech, data, product and marketing, all of us determined to let technology do the hard work and empower families to have the most enriching holiday experiences possible. As well as the team, we have a number of advisors and board members who have deep industry experience and who are as excited as we are to make travelling as a family a whole lot easier.
During covid, I've found myself (alongside the rest of the team) locked down with a singular mission to create a human digital experience that matches families, with a high degree of certainty, to their ideal place to stay on holiday. And as travel markets start showing early signs of opening up, we're excited to help families all around the UK find their perfect place to stay on their next family holiday!
Hi, I'm Ketan and I'm the CTO and Co-Founder of tripAbrood. I lead product and tech in our travel tech startup. Previously, I was an engineering lead at Lloyds Bank, the biggest retail bank in the UK.
Having grown up in Bangalore (India), I moved to the UK to study computer science and have been living here ever since. Living and working in multiple continents is a massive growth hack to your personality, experience and knowledge. I would definitely recommend everyone to travel and go see/live the world. Having said that, a fair bit of warning - your visa applications end up taking few more pages if you need to list out everywhere you have travelled for the last 3/5 years. You get used to it though :)
As a young family, we travelled to the west coast of USA last year. The picture here is with my wife Rishika and Smaya who was 18 months old when we visited San Francisco. It was evident that there was a shift in approach and pyschology when you become a parent, especially a first time parent. We had to do all the work - research where to stay, get suggestions from friends about places, read reviews of many hotels before finalising and then work out if there were any good deals to save some costs. We were not even sure what to budget and what to compromise when searching for hotels in a country we have never been in. It was insane. All this data was already there with the online travel websites. Why were we spending hours on this?
Having been associated with fintech for most of my career, I see a similar disruption waiting to happen to the travel industry. Users are accustomed to consuming digital products like Netflix, Spotify and recently Monzo who are able to blend data, technology and user experience to make impactful products. Now is the right time to use advancements in machine learning and the power of data to make a positive impact on families, travellers and the travel industry as a whole. I believe there is a fundamental shift in how customers perceive digital products now and a major part lies in how well the product understands its user. My goal is to shift the hard work of researching and booking travel from the user's side to the product side, so users can focus on what is important to them, spending time with their families.