Some people likely saw this coming. I know many people wanted it to happen. Either way, it would seem that crowd funded travel has taken a hit as of late with Trevolta announcing the end of their services.
You may remember our coverage of Trevolta in December of 2013 at the time of their launch. My op-ed about the acceptance of crowd funded travel stirred up a great deal of discussion, both for and against. The voices in the latter category were most virulent in their castigations of travel “hand outs.” Nonetheless, in the months since then, we have seen a steep rise in the number of people seeking free funds, a surprising number of them receiving every penny they hoped for.
In the email announcement I received from Trevolta, they assert their untimely demise is not a result of a poor business concept, but rather one of insurmountable business logistics with a team on opposite ends of the earth. They say their members have had a fruitful relationship with givers and takers alike, and in fairness, their website seems to corroborate those claims. Oddly enough, their site doesn’t have any news of their planned closing, which may just be a matter of keeping up appearances while the wheels grind to a halt.
The question now is: What does this mean for future crowd funded travels? From my seat as a traveler and journalist, I have no idea. Reports from the inter-webs suggest that sights like Go Fund Me, Indiegogo, Travel Starter, and Honey Fund are doing well to pair empty hands with wads of travel cash. I still don’t get it, but maybe I’m just getting old. When I get hungry I don’t go around asking for a free sandwich. Anyway….
Click the image below for the original story on Trevolta:
From the Trevolta team:
Over the last 2 years we have developed an incredible community, helped numerous travelers from around the world achieve their dreams, supported some great causes and launched many epic campaigns. With great sadness though, the time has unfortunately come for us to stop operations, close the business and create something new some day soon.
It is incredibly difficult to run this global business from South Africa, where the founders are currently based and the company was formed. From the initial growth in popularity of the platform in late 2013, we needed to take a couple of urgent steps that sadly resulted in a very complicated business structure, shareholding and management, as well as trading limitations globally. As a team we have been working tirelessly over the last 9 months to address the issues and plot out a sustainable way forward, but unfortunately every option has resulted in a dead end.
In good faith and because we believe in the vision of Trevolta and value our community, we as founders have been funding the business for the last 8 months in the hopes that we would eventually find a solution, but unfortunately we are no longer able to do so due to the ever growing complexity of the business and the associated costs. With your best interests at heart, we tried to find the best solution as we were moving forward, but wrapping things up and starting a new chapter appears to be the only way.
We want to thank you for giving us the opportunity of building something meaningful and for being a part of the journey over the last 2 years. We’re deeply sorry if we didn’t deliver what you had hoped for us to deliver, and we certainly hope to stay friends with each and every one of you as we move forward. We’ve learned a whole lot over the last 2 years and will certainly apply our learnings when we embark on our next entrepreneurial journey.
Following this, the next steps in terminating the platform will be as follow:
• 20 July 2015 — we will close the ability to create trips on the platform, but will continue accepting payments for currently running campaigns;
• 17 August 2015 — contributions will be suspended and no further donations will be allowed on the platform. You may choose to request a payout before that date if required, or refund all your current contributors.
• 17 August — 23 August 2015 — all trip owners will be settled up with their outstanding amounts owing;
• 24 August — 31 August 2015 — the team will be on standby for any requests/questions from the users, after that all subscription services will be terminated and our associated accounts closed; If you wish to switch to another platform, but have already started PR of your Trevolta page, we will gladly assist in redirecting your Trevolta page to the new service where you have settled. Simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before the termination of the service, and we will get it done.
Having your best interest at heart, we suggest you to consider creating a trip on one of the following platforms:
What’s next for us? Two founders are embarking on a trip to explore the world, while working remotely and building more dreams. Trevolta was just the beginning of a great journey ahead. Follow Mark and Lorette on Twitter to be a part of this new chapter and participate in the new beginnings.
For the time being, Neil will be situated in South Africa working hard as always on some personal ventures. Follow Neil on Twitter to see what he will be up to. We as founders have grown into a family, and the team will continue working together on new ventures as we move forward.
We could not thank you enough for being so awesome and for showing your support in the last few years, with that we will make sure to come back with a bang!
Always Love & Always Light,
The Trevolta Team