Calling all jet-setters: Tampa-based startup WanderSeat wants to change the way you book your next flight. And it could help jumpstart your gig as a travel influencer.
After grad school at the University of Tampa, Logan Clemens worked at Southwest Airlines and started thinking about ways to change how travelers find flights. Alongside his co-founder Steven Frady, WanderSeat launched as an “outlier fare finder” app in November for travelers in and out of Tampa International Airport. The algorithm helps flag cheap domestic flights, which were of particular interest as domestic Covid restrictions loosened.
But it is the video content connected to the flights that could help the app ‘take off’ with social media-savvy travelers.
Clemens describes the app as “Tik Tok meets Google Flights,” WanderSeat looks to provide a curated view of user-generated content of popular destinations. Anyone can submit travel videos, which are then reviewed by the WanderSeast team prior to being posted on the app. While social media users have likely already created a reel or video clip for Instagram or Tik Tok, uploading to WanderSeat attaches the lowest ticket prices associated with new places to travel.
Users earn travel points when someone books flights through their posted content.
Taking a social media approach to travel helps the WanderSeat team better understand globetrotters’ interest in traveling, be it for sporting events, arts and culture, or sightseeing. The app can then curate the user’s feed based on travel preferences.
Because the app sits at the intersection of travel and social media, Gen Z is a natural target audience. As the latest generation entering the workforce, Gen Zs are looking for a more “transparent” and “easy to use” booking platform, said Clemens.
“What we’ve done is just shortened the booking process completely.”
TravelTech in Tampa
The startup had been mainly bootstrapped to date and the team is focused right now on “winning” the Tampa travel market.
For Clemens, Tampa’s supportive tech ecosystem makes it the right place to launch such a venture. After spending time in Texas with Southwest Airlines, Clemens told Hypepotamus he decided to return to Tampa and connected with the university’s entrepreneurship center and incubator to help get off the ground.
WanderSeat is also part of Embarc Collective, Tampa’s organization building up the local startup community.
WanderSeat is set to officially launch the first week of March for Tampa flights, with plans to expand into other cities and airports down the road.
The Tampa airport currently takes travelers to 91 destinations across the world.