Wednesday, February 7, 2024

People

Interview with Jiha Jung, CEO of Tripbtoz


photo: Jiha Jung, the CEO of Tripbtoz


To celebrate the launch of Tech Seoul, we started to meet CEOs representing Korean startups. Today, for the fourth time meeting, we interviewed Jiha Jung, the CEO of Tripbtoz. Interviews were conducted in writing.


Good morning, Mr. Jiha Jung, thank you for taking the time to meet us today. An interview with Jiha Jung, the CEO of Tripbtoz, a innovative travel startup, will be a very interesting and informative moment for Tech Seoul readers.



Q. Please introduce your company.

Tripbtoz is the world's first metaverse travel platform. Through our services, users can search for and enjoy a variety of trips that transcend time and space. Travelers share fun travel videos, earn TripCash by sharing the travel experience and use it to plan their next trip with over 870,000 global accommodations booking service. Tripbtoz is creating a web3 travel ecosystem in a rapidly changing industry and is emerging as the next generation platform for global travelers to share and communicate their travel experiences.



Q. What kind of projects are planned for 2023?

The main goals for 2023 are "Going global" and "Improving community features". 

After participating in a business delegation that accompanied the President of South Korea's state visit to the UAE in January, Tripbtoz has been building a web3 travel platform based in the Middle East with various local and international organizations. We signed a business agreement with global CeDeFi platform ‘Neopin’ to apply blockchain technology to our Travel to Earn system. We are also planning to create new travel experiences for travelers by using virtual humans and visual effects, in collaboration with 'Giantstep', a company specializing in metaverse, and 'd'strict', a company specializing in digital media content production.


We are also enhancing our community features so that young travelers from around the world can communicate freely. We have added the "Chat" feature for tourists to communicate with each other and the "Passport & Trip logs" features for tourists to share their travel experiences and reviews. We have also launched the English service available in 177 countries to attract global users, and we plan to support multilingual services such as Japanese and Arabic in the future.



Q. What's the story behind your company?

In 2013, during my master's program at Cornell University in the United States, I won an on campus entrepreneurship competition with the initial idea for Tripbtoz. At the lunch after the competition, the chairman of Expedia, who was also a judge, asked me, "How will you secure suppliers, accommodation providers?" I did not have a clear answer, because my idea focused on users and ignored suppliers. For the next few years, I worked as a region manager at a leading global travel agency Expedia, gaining insights into supplier acquisition and the tourism industry, and then returned to Korea to found Tripbtoz.



Q. How do you set project goals?

[Innovation = (mind + emotion + organization + space) x communication²]

“Startups are capable of disruptive innovation when they have the right combination of mind, will, organization, space, and communication.” When I met Professor Larry Leifer of Stanford University in 2018, he emphasized. Tripbtoz set its goals based on a company culture that reflects these five elements. Traditionally, "tourism" has been limited to traveling away from home and visiting new places. We are redefining "tourism" by creating a space that encourages creative thinking, demands action, and fosters an innovative atmosphere. We are also creating an organization optimized for continuous innovation through transparent communication.



Q. What does the meaning of success for you and your company?

Tripbtoz uses AI to analyze over 380,000 video content to recommend accommodations based on user preferences, and provides travel experiences that transcend time, place, and people in a metaverse travel ecosystem. This allows users to discover new values, such as visiting the Italian Colosseum in a virtual world and traveling around Seoul using VR and AR technologies.



Q. Where do you see your company in three years?

Tripbtoz will grow up into the world’s No.1 metaverse travel platform. We will enter the US, Japan, UAE, and Singapore with our English app already launched and Japanese app to be launched this year, our goal is to reach $1billion transaction in 9 different countries by 2025. We are building a global business, technology, and investment network to achieve our goals.



Q. How does your company develop talent?

The core values of Tripbtoz are 1) Discover, 2) Adventure, and 3) Conquer. Our team members discover new opportunities, actively share them, and constantly look for ways to make them happen. We come together as a team to imagine and take risks. We learn from our failures, create small successes, and capitalize on those experiences.



Q. In one word, describe yourself?

Passionate marathon runner



Q. How do you usually spend your free time?

Every morning, I go hiking for an hour. It helps me to concentrate on a certain subject to think about while enjoying the trees around me.



Q. We're already a quarter of the way through 2023, is there anything you personally want to do in 2023?

Staying healthy both mentally and physically, enjoying more time with my loved ones, and thinking positively about the challenges I face every day!



Thank you for your time today. We wish Tripbtoz's endless development.