Raveling through time
It has officially been one year since the start of Ravel! It is crazy to think that a year has gone by because of the odd passing of time during the pandemic and all of the months inside, but here we are a whole year later and we have come so far.
We started with one main goal: to make travel planning simple. We have gone through beta testing, the launch of an app, surveys, polls, interviews, app updates, growing our team, growing our Ravel community, and so much more. Ultimately, we have created an app that we are extremely proud of and that we are constantly trying to improve for our community.
So, what have we accomplished in this past year?
- Came up with original idea
In September of 2018, the idea behind Ravel was born. Our CEO, Brice Dreamer, was planning a month-long road trip in Australia from Cairns to Melbourne and became tired of having to look at so many different websites and books to plan a single trip. He wanted to create an app where you could save all that time and use other people’s experience to easily plan your own trip instead. By June 2019, Brice designed the first draft of the app.
- Designed and prototyped the first version of the app
In September 2019 we partnered with a software development company to professionally design the full app. Lot’s of brainstorms and iterations later, we finally had a full working prototype in November 2019!
- Our team has grown and evolved
Many amazing people have supported us in different ways and at different times along our journey so far. We couldn’t have gotten this far without them!
November 2019: We welcomed Lluis (operations) and Andy (data and machine learning)
April 2020: We welcomed Gia (marketing) and Mark (product)
July 2020: Meaghan joined as a marketing intern
August 2020: Athanasios joined as advisor to the CEO
October 2020: Sonia started blogging for us
December 2020: Peter joined as our CTO (chief tech officer)
January 2021: Nicole and Alison joined as marketing interns
- iOS App developed and released June 2020
The first working version of the live app was ready and we launched an open beta, welcoming users all over the world! We knew this would be just the first step in many versions and iterations of the app.
- Ravel GmbH founded in Basel, Switzerland
Switzerland has been voted as the most innovative country in the world for the last 10 years and is one of the big startup hubs in Europe. Since half of the team is based there, we founded the company as a GmbH (similar to an LLC in the US) in Switzerland in February 2020.
- Ravel gets accepted into the Zurich Founder Institute and Brice graduates in July 2020
We wanted to get a boost after starting our company so we decided to apply to an accelerator. Founder Institute is a great one in Zurich, headquartered in Silicon Valley. They provided resources, connections, and lots of coaching!
- Started beta testing
In order to get tons of feedback before launching the full app, we wanted to get the app in the hands of some special first users. Using our social channels, newsletter, and beta testing websites, we got our name out there and asked for support. We had 300 users sign up for beta testing which was a crucial first step in making sure our app was ready for launch.
- Launched our first version of the Ravel Trips app
With all of the feedback from our Beta test and thousands of hours of work put into the app, we were finally ready to launch on the app store. Within the first two months we already hit 600 downloads and 1000 trips created!
- Reached a total of 1015 followers across all of our social media accounts
Instagram: 700 followers
Facebook: 100 Followers
Pinterest: 6 followers
Tiktok: 10 followers
Twitter: 73 followers
LinkedIn: 126 followers
An app for you!
The Ravel you know now is the product of not only our own ideas, but the amazing feedback you all have given us this past year. We are focused on building this app for our users, and that's why we are continuing to redesign our app to make it yours! Currently, we are working to develop new ways to share and create your trips, make our app more user friendly, and move to Android and web soon. The Ravel team is so thankful for your continued feedback and support and can’t wait to see what the years to come will bring.
(Co-author: Brice Dreamer)