Tic Tac Trip, a light-foot travel start-up

Under French law, July 9, 2015 called the ‘Macron Bill, ‘free-trade’ conditions for interregional bus services were introduced and, consequently, an increasing number of travellers have chosen this mode of transport. The number of companies has literally taken off and it now is exceedingly difficult to compare prices. For this very reason, viz., to simplify planning and ticket buying for travellers, Tic Tac Trip was created by Hugo Bazin (ESCP-Europe, BBA-ESSEC) and Simon Robain, a 2015 UTC graduate in the major Computer Sciences and Applications.

Tic Tac Trip, a light-foot travel start-up

Simon Robain was one of the many entrepreneurial-minded UTC undergraduates. “Indeed, I chose to study at UTC-Compiegne because I already had this inclination to create a start-up, although at the time, I had no idea in what area this might be”. So, it was during his study years that his ideas matured. “I travelled a lot round Europe when I was a student and always had difficulty in finding bus tickets that suited me and, more importantly, my transport budget. With co-founder Hugo, we decided to set up ta start-up that would answer these problems”.

Simon and Hugo together first contacted over 70 European bus companies to get their time-tables and prices. Then they developed an algorithmic comparator to select the 5 best trip offers between two cities. “Following that”, adds Simon, “our comparator then compares prices and displays a selection, depending on whether the traveller wants the cheapest, the most rapid trip, with or without changes en route…”.

Today (the site only went on line in September 2016), there are already 800 registered prospect ‘clients’. Simon explains this success easily “Our big advantage compared with other travel advisors is that we propose combinations of companies for a given trip. And if, for the moment, we are focused on bus travel, we shall soon be expanding our business to include train trips, co-driving … and, why not, air travel!”

However, to mark the difference with the competitors, our two entrepreneurs hope to rely a lot on the other, associate services proposed on their site. “We have added lists of hotels close to the destinations if the route with stopovers is long. And we are studying – with the companies concerned - the possibility of our customers purchasing their tickets via our site, which of course needs some specific agreements and gain the commercial status as travel agents. We are working hard on this question of associate services: car hire, accommodation, meal packages delivered to the bus just before departure … we have loads of ideas to explore! But our business objective is to narrow down the supply side to select and retain only the very best and to be able to offer our customers a really simple and practical service.”