Treblle API Talks is a series of interviews we did with our users. We talk about APIs in general, API observability and how Treblle helps them gain much needed context on how their API is performing. This is another use case for the travel industry.
Using APIs to help drive innovation in the global consumer travel industry
We talked to Gary Somerhalder, the Chief Executive officer and founder of an up-and-coming startup called COPILOT TRAVEL.
"In a startup, I believe CEO stands for Chief Everything Officer," joked Gary.
With an international team of 20+, Gary made something that is no joke at all, and we should be hearing great things about COPILOT TRAVEL very shortly.
COPILOT TRAVEL in a sentence?
"Integrated technology to seamlessly connect travel suppliers, merchants and consumers at scale across any platform."
Or maybe if you want a bit more context:
"If you are a developer and want to build the next generation of travel experiences, we are the 'Twilio for travel."
"Suppose you are a merchant and want an embedded travel experience. In that case, we're the 'Stripe for travel' where you drop in our integrated travel booking experience to power travel bookings in seconds."
How the idea for COPILOT TRAVEL came about
As one does while building ventures in the US, Gary did a lot of travel across the country. The idea for COPILOT TRAVEL came to him while talking to some friends about going to a music festival in California.
"I was talking to some friends about going to some music festivals. And I saw where you couldn't book your travel as a part of your ticket purchase, and I thought that was interesting.
"This is what we call a Website Widget, and this allows you to have a drop-in travel booking platform, unlike anything you have ever seen before.
Everything you see here can be themed, and eventually, you will be able to sell flights/stays/cars/packages/things to do/cruises/trains/buses/dining and more.
COPILOT TRAVEL is all powered by our proprietary travel cloud infrastructure, which we have been building for over three years and is a patent-pending technology."
COPILOT TRAVEL was founded in April of 2019 and has raised over $2MM in their Pre-Seed Round from angels. They now look like a strong candidate to raise a big Seed Round in the next 6-12 months.
"We just closed another $1M from a new venture capital fund, and now we are focused on launching into the international market and scaling operations.
My holdings company was one of the major investors in the Pre-Seed Round. I am firmly committed to COPILOT TRAVEL and have invested considerable time and money in getting this company of the ground. As a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits, I know the vast amount of work this takes, and I have tried very hard to do it the right way and not just take the easy path.
On our team, we have been very blessed to have built a seasoned executive management team and also a growing roster of industry experts and insiders like folks like Terry Jones.
Terry is one of our close advisors and investors and was the founder of Travelocity and the founding chairman of KAYAK.
Travelocity was one of the industry's first online travel booking websites. Travelocity helped to create the online travel agency model that has spawned successful multi-billion dollar companies like Booking and Expedia."
The COPILOT TRAVEL technology stack
Gary was kind enough to show us the platform they've built. There are currently over 20+ commercial APIs, all licensed, that are a part of the core engine.
They use React/Remix, Rust, and GraphQL, among other technologies.
When we spoke to COPILOT TRAVEL, Treblle didn't have a Cloudflare workers SDK. Treblle essentially built a Cloudflare Workers SDK for them while working closely with their team.
Gary: "You all have done a lot of work supporting us. We are excited about global deployments across all major cloud providers and monitoring all of them is crucial.
We've built out complete CI/CD, so we are now deploying services in all regions across AWS/GCP/Azure/Cloudflare, which we think puts us in a class of our own.
Because we've made a substantial investment in Cloudflare and modern cutting-edge enterprise technologies like it, we were happy to see your instrumentation software was going to be able to monitor all of our platforms in one single pane of glass."
"I think people still use many different monitoring services in tandem, and they could simplify this by implementing an integrated solution with Treblle."
Keeping suppliers transparent with Treblle
COPILOT TRAVEL works with best-in-class 'suppliers' like Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport (Some of the world's largest travel companies).
"There are times when you need to open a ticket with Amadeus, and they need a lot of detailed information, and so, what was helpful to our team was to be able to start utilizing Treblle."
"We can say, hey, let me send you this link, and then you'll have access to everything."
Treblle helps them avoid endless ticket cycles and provides essential information efficiently and securely.
"Sharing your request information is useful, especially in the travel industry. Because there's so much data that you must capture to start understanding what is happening."
Because, if you don't, you get into this cycle of tickets, where somebody responds with 'What are the headers' and then 'What was the request,' and then 'What were the endpoints'... and so on.
If you can send them a picture in time, freeze time, and send it to them, that could be incredibly helpful for us to show them exactly what's happening."
Gary is also a happy user of our iOS app.
"I love the mobile app for iOS. I am always excited to see when a company has a slick mobile app. The app is straightforward to use and gives me actionable information that I need."
COPILOT TRAVEL is gearing up for takeoff very soon, so if you are a developer or a merchant in this space, you should check them out.
We'll let Gary have the final word:
"I think what Treblle is doing is vital because APIs drive the world. For example, when you go to the Uber app and click a button to have a car show up, many other API companies are involved in that transaction, from payment systems like Braintree and Stripe to mapping systems like Mapbox and Google.
The consumer doesn't know that. But as engineers, we understand the complexity. So we've looked at a lot of observability platforms on the market. And you guys are straightforward.
As a young startup, I think listening to customer feedback is essential. And one of the best pieces of advice I've seen is from Bill Gates. He says, "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."