Do phrases like ‘hidden gems’, ‘secret spots’, ‘must-see unknown wonders’ excite the explorer in you? The answer, quite surely, is a resounding yes. Numerous travelers all over the world have an inherent thirst to visit places which are, as Robert Frost would say with a sigh, less travelled by. But in a country that packs a solid punch of 3.29 million square kilometers of landmass, with a 55, 32, 482 km long web of roadways piercing it, the availability of door-to-door travel itineraries is nil, thus making the curious traveler in you apprehensive and hesitant.
Nobody has a plane (unless you are a billionaire and not modest like Bill Gates) in their backyards or a train parked outside their door. But travel inherently is door-to-door. Any kind of travel involves multiple transport options dealing with which, and the allied complicated time-tables, slow-loading roadway websites, outdated maps and the skewed rates quoted by taxi drivers, deals a premature death to some of the potential Ibn-e-Batutas.
This is where DistancesBetween.com arrives. An intuitive multi-modal journey planner providing search, comparison and booking options for door-to- door travel across India, it is the country’s first Artificial Intelligence based integrated meta search platform. Through DistancesBetween, travelers can track down different modes of transport in one comprehensive overview that helps them reach their destination in the most seamless, cost-effective and efficient way possible.
Bharatt Kumaar Malik and Sachin Mathur, two Statistician & MCA graduates with more than 33 years of cumulative experience in the digital & technology domain, began mulling over the multi-modal transportation problem. As Bharatt, the CEO and Founder of DistancesBetween.com points out, “Past experience as a head of Digital marketing at a leading OTA along with insightful data research made it clear that there didn’t exist a journey planner which simply shows all your travel options from door to door. Travelers are still looking at various portals/blogs and even consulting friends and family, besides spending 40-60 minutes in discovering, planning & booking entire trips (including first and last mile – often the most tedious parts).”
The lack of a ‘one-stop’ incubation hub that provided integrated mobility solutions for travel, transportation and allied services anywhere and everywhere in India was greatly felt by both of them, and the desire to realize this shared vision led to the birth of DistancesBetween.com in February 2016.
You enter the start point and the end point of your destination, be it a city, village, name of a road, canal etc. DistancesBetween.com will then generate a response citing the different ways in which that destination can be reached, and the estimated cost as well as time, associated with each. Upon choosing a particular way and route of travel, the relevant travel partners and transport companies providing service to that particular destination will be listed for the traveler to easily choose from. DistancesBetween.com will then redirect you to the website of the most affordable service provider to complete your purchase.
What distinguishes DistancesBetween from the rest?
The greatest feature of DistancesBetween.com as a complete door-to-door travel planner is its widest first and last mile coverage of more than 2400 destinations in India across cities/towns, villages etc. and growing. The algorithm of DistancesBetween.com has a self-learning AI module that keeps on refining best routes to provide more useful results to the traveler. In fact, the algorithm also has organized as well as unorganized transport sector data, which leads to maximum choices of service operators and routes on the platform. As Bharatt further states, “While several portals have been trying to enter this space, we feel that DistancesBetween.com has an edge over competitors in our ability to scale organically from the demand side while building this AI driven platform. Without any spend on marketing & 10 member team including tech & marketing, currently 1.5 M organic visitors monthly engage on the platform to discover and plan their travel journeys. With new products planned, we are confident of building a sustained user base over the coming months.”
With more than 100 million monthly consumers wanting to plan that perfect door-to-door travel experience incorporating and combining multiple modes of travel such as flight, train, bus, rideshare and rental car etc., DistancesBetween.com has immense scope of growth. Basing its business model upon the revenue share of transportation companies and travel partners for each ticket bought using its platform, it also provides a chance to enhance visibility of the thousands of service providers working in the remotest corners of our land, thus ensuring that curious travelers need not fill their pockets with unnecessary maps and redundant chits of information, yet roam freely in an unknown land and gather enough experiences to stock their vault of memories.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication