Stage: Revenue generating
Number of employees: 1-5
Short URL: vator.co/ship-mate
Co-founder, Ship Mate
Ship Mate is the most popular app for individuals going on a cruise vacation. Its many features allow users to get involved in their cruise months before stepping foot on the ship.
Cruisers are using Ship Mate to figure out where to eat, drink and shop while on their vacation, and allowing retailers direct access to this group.
Ship Mate mobile app has been downloaded over 500k times and averages over 50k uses every day. It also maintains a consistent spot in Apple's Top 10 Travel apps.
The product is a web and mobile application for the vacation cruise industry. If Facebook and TripAdvisor had a baby on the deck of a cruise ship, it's name would be "Ship Mate."
Users start interacting with Ship Mate nine months (seriously) prior to boarding their ship. They're meeting others they'll be sailing with, exploring their ship and ports, booking excursions, and scheduling their daily activities.
The $25B cruise industry has seen little technical innovation - Ship Mate is the most informative and convenient tool to expand and enhance the cruise experience. We're direct to consumer, but work with agents, cruise associations, port retailers and other industry figures to provide seamless market communication and efficient transactions.
Brothers... Jan Jirout & Michael Jirout.
Jan has a CS degree from Brandeis University and some masters training at Montana State. Jan is responsible for the technical development.
Mike has a business degree at Boston College and a masters at UCLA Anderson. He is responsible for business development.
The primary source of revenue will be from advertisers at ports. We have focused on one port and have proven out this business model. There are over 1,000 total cruise ports and we now need resources to replicated this model.
Another significant source of revenues will be from transations of excursions. This includes "mini-trips" that cruise vacationers experience while at each port. The market is over $5B and currently very antiquated. Users are looking to Ship Mate to make the research, booking, and processing experiences as efficient as possible.
Ship Mate was the first cruise app to be built and benefits from large user base established early on. We've reached a critical mass of users to which each of our chat rooms (separted by ship and sail date) have existing users contributing value. Other products have tried to replicate these social features, but failed to establish the user base to make it valuable.
The cruise lines are able to attract a large user base, but have a mobile strategy based on booking more cruises. Our value-add is all post-booking. We've found that users are more attracted to our app because it's built from the eyes of a cruiser as opposed to a corporation.
We're making it easier for our users to submit valuable content (ship & port images, reviews, tips, etc). We believe that this user-created-content will provide a significant advantage moving forward.