TravelTech Opportunities with Andrew Reed (Sequoia Capital) and Julian Stiefel (Tourlane)

TravelTech Opportunities with Andrew Reed (Sequoia Capital) and Julian Stiefel (Tourlane)


  • Tourlane's CEO, Julian Stiefel, emphasizes the importance of passion and experience in the travel industry to stand out in a competitive market.
  • Tourlane aims to own the entire customer journey, providing 24/7 support and creating the best possible customer experience.
  • Tourlane focuses on long-term free cash flow generation and is not necessarily aiming to eliminate every human from its processes as long as the business works fundamentally and there's a sustainable path towards profitability.
  • Tourlane is aware of its responsibility for potentially flooding secret spots with tourists and is taking steps to offset its carbon emissions and work with local partners to ensure that the places it sends its customers to remain sustainable.

Sequoia Capital

  • Sequoia Capital partner, Andrew Reed, highlights the importance of exceptional founders, customer reviews, and execution in attracting venture capital funding.
  • Sequoia focuses on investing in outliers with special founders rather than competing with other startups.
  • Sequoia has invested in several European companies but operates from its San Francisco office due to the large customer and talent pool in the US and Europe.


  • The speaker's new company, Topos, offers a holistic customer experience with travel experts who provide personalized consultations and curated trips.
  • Topos uses phone calls with travel experts as part of their customer experience and has found this model to be scalable.
  • Topos offers a variety of trips, ranging from affordable to luxurious, and bundles different components into one package.
  • Andrew Chen's perspective on the current state of online travel and the gaps that Topos is addressing, such as personalized trip planning, seamless integration of different travel components, and consolidated itineraries.

Advice for Entrepreneurs

  • Advice for entrepreneurs going through an acquisition process to ensure team satisfaction, product longevity, and legacy preservation.
  • The speaker's experience of setting up Airbnb's European office and the importance of building relationships and integrating with the HQ.
  • Potential areas for new companies to explore in the travel space include improving the inspiration phase of travel planning, particularly by leveraging social media to help people choose the right destinations for them.

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?