From a Canceled Bachelor Party and Wedding to Refly, a Flight Reselling Platform
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Raymond Zeitouni and Shantal Jordana had already planned to travel to a bachelor party. And it was canceled! Also the wedding. So they began to think about all the guests who were going to lose their flights and their money. Thus was born in November 2016 Refly : a platform for the resale of plane tickets.
During the health contingency due to COVID-19, this Mexican startup has provided support to those who had to cancel flights; and people who have to travel for work or emergencies are provided with information on how to travel safely.
When Raymond and Shantal found out that they would no longer be able to go to the bachelor party, they tried to sell their flights on WhatsApp and Facebook , but they were unsuccessful. So they saw a great opportunity and decided to create a platform that connects people who want to offer their plane tickets with buyers (mainly millennials) who want to travel much cheaper.
“When you want to cancel a flight on an airline, it is impossible for them to return what you already paid for. There are no refunds or cancellations. What they offer you is to change your itinerary with very high costs or leave your flight open, but you may never take it again ”, explains Shantal Jordana, co-founder of Refly in an interview for Entrepreneur en Español .
Those who sell their flights in Refly choose to recover from 20% to 70% of their plane tickets, as they prefer to win something than lose everything. On the other hand, users can buy national and international flights with up to 70% discount.
“Sellers must consider the cost of changing the name of the new passenger in the total price; as well as the commission for Refly of 10% plus VAT (only if you sell your flight) ”, says the entrepreneur.
Refly's initial investment was 400,000 pesos. Along the way they have sold more than 12 million pesos in flights and have more than 100,000 downloads of their application. In social networks, the Refly community exceeds 500,000 people and the refly.me website has more than 50,000 visits per month. What is the next step for this company? The resale of other means of transport and accommodation that people will no longer use.
Your achievements and keys to success
Raymond Zeitouni and Shantal Jordana were chosen in 2019 to participate in Shark Tank Mexico and closed an investment of 600,000 pesos with Dux Capital , a fund of businessman Marcus Dantus that invested capital in exchange for a percentage of the company.
In addition, in 2019 Refly was among the 35 startups selected globally by the accelerator MassChallenge Mexico . In 2017 it obtained the first place of Posible 2017, the Televisa accelerator that seeks to inspire, identify and support entrepreneurs. That same year they were part of INCAccelerator , a program for the best startups in Latin America that offers acceleration and links with different actors in one place.
“We are guided a lot by two things: the perseverance of moving forward. At first we sold 10 flights in one day and then 120. We must not despair. Sometimes you progress little by little, but you have to take small beginnings seriously, ”says Shantal.
The second key is passion - he adds - “The founders have a passion for traveling, innovating and creating something new in the world of tourism. Inadvertently a problem arose and we found the solution ”.
The biggest challenge these entrepreneurs face is letting people know that Refly exists so they can resell their flights easily and safely. “Our challenge is to spread the brand. Reach the 3.3 billion passengers in the world a year; and the 6% who do not board their flight (all that amount of people leave 100 million resale flights per year according to 2018 statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration) ”.
What Refly also does to make itself known is to give courtesies or discounts on flights to public figures Refly in exchange for promoting the app on their social networks. They also generate more sales through Ambassadors who sell the plane tickets published on the platform.
Marcus Dantus , the “shark” of Shark Tank México and CEO of Startup México , in an interview for Entrepreneur comments on the entrepreneurs of Refly: “They are young people with a passion for what they do, they are inventive and really want to get ahead”.
Regarding this flight resale undertaking, Marcus expresses that the potential of the business is huge and also global. “In the corporations, I believe that between 3 and 5% lose their flights. Those tickets can be bought by many young people looking to fly cheap. The challenge for Raymond and Shantal is that they have much more offer of plane tickets and that they begin to sell other types of things such as lodging or train tickets that you do not use ”, concludes the businessman.
Raymond Zeitouni and Shantal Jordana / Image: Courtesy Refly
How does Refly work?
If you want to sell plane tickets
- Create an account at refly.me
- Upload your flight information
- Wait for the authorization of your ad
- Change the name of the new passenger
- Receive your payment
* With the guarantee that if your flight is sold you will receive your money.
If you want to buy tickets
- Create an account at Refly
- Fill in your contact details
- Find the flight of your interest
- Make the payment online
- Wait for the name change of your plane tickets
* With the guarantee that if you do not receive the flight in your name in 48 hours, they will refund 100% of your money.