Extravelmoney: A Startup Creating a One Stop Shop for All Currency Exchange Needs

Extravelmoney.com is an online marketplace for currency exchange and outward remittance services in India. The startup helps travelers find the nearest authorized money changers and make the best choice based on the  the exchange rates offered, customer ratings, proximity etc. One can freeze the rate of the forex transaction right from the comfort of their homes and can request home delivery of the currency/travel card or can collect it from the nearest chosen store.

The company was founded in December 2014 by George Zachariah, Ajin Baby, Ashwin Narasimha and Nisanth Issac. “The idea for the startup was born out of a casual chat when Ajin landed at our friend George’s forex store to collect the travel card for his Amsterdam trip. When Ajin commented that the process is old-hat, George shared his idea of making the store online, which later evolved into an online marketplace,” said the team. The company’s name stands for ‘Exchange your travel money’.

What services does Extravelmoney offer?

The startup connects customers with their money changing service providers to allow them buy  foreign currency and forex travel cards. The Kerala based startup also helps its customers sell foreign currency or leftover amount in forex card. Servicing the customer and home delivery is taken care of by the money changer while ExTravelMoneycom’s customer care executives make sure that the process happens smoothly and quickly.

The company also helps in reducing the high value transactions cost in remitting money from India for overseas education expenses, medical expenses etc. by providing the best possible exchange rate to its customers.

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Who is it competing with?

Thomas Cook and Travelex are two well known names in the money exchange business in India. They provide an online forex booking option, but not a marketplace whereas, this startup provides a marketplace where a user has the freedom to choose and compare between the various money changers. At present, as the startup claims, there is no competition.

What is the market opportunity and market size?

“We aim to tap the $40 billion market of currency exchange in India; 60-65 per cent of which at present comes from travel currency cards and currencies. Foreign travel and overseas remittances for investments, education, employment, immigration, etc in India is growing @ 20% Year on Year, for over the last 10 years,” says the team.

Present Status and Future Goals

Presently, it has more than 2000 registered users and is looking to raise an investment. The startup has tie ups with UAE Exchange, Muthoot Forex and Orient Exchange covering 4000+ locations across India.

As of now, the app is available only on Android. The iOS version will be soon rolled out.

Monetization Model:

Customers do not have to pay anything to avail of this service. The startup charges a small fee from the money changers for every transaction the company gets.

The future plan of the startup is to cross-sell a few other products like calling cards and travel insurance. Also, it aims to provide more delivery options like airport delivery and aiming for an overseas expansion.

“We have a vision, that is to make currency exchange as easy as booking an air ticket online. If we are able to do that, travel planning would become 100% online.” George Zachariah, COO, ExTravelMoney.com

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The travel industry in India is growing rapidly. The World Travel & Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated Rs 6.4 trillion or 6.6% of the nation’s GDP in 2012. It supported 39.5 million jobs, 7.7% of its total employment. Now the entire travel booking such as tickets, hotel booking, cab bookings etc are done online. With currency change service coming online, things will become even easier and favorable for the people. The sector holds a lot of potential, only if one can identify the right areas and explore them.