SilverRail – PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit Winner

SilverRailTwitter Synopsis: Aggregates global rail suppliers into a single distribution platform with rules based APIs for each carrier system and single user interface

Silverrail Technologies

SilverRail Technologies – Winner PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit

Just the Facts:
Company Name: SilverRail Technologies
Location: Woburn, MA
Judging Category: New Company
Business Segment: Rail Search
Product Name: Trax
Demonstrated by: Aaron Gowell, Founder & CEO

Company Description (from website)

Developed by a team of highly experienced travel ecommerce experts obsessed with improving online travel planning, SilverRail Technologies has built the first global rail platform.
A global explosion in high-speed rail, awareness of the environmental impact of travel, hassles associated with air travel, and industry deregulation have coalesced into a perfect storm, making passenger rail the travel industry’s most dynamic and fastest-growing sector.
We consolidate passenger rail products from across the globe into an integrated single-source platform that removes the complexity of selling rail anywhere in the world.

Challenge Solved:
Only 1% of rail globally is booked online, with no existing method to seamlessly link distributors with suppliers for online commerce.

Point of Differentiation:
Robust middleware solution that aggregates rail content from across the world and allows any distributor in any country, to transact rail bookings in their local currency.

Key Innovation:
SilverRail provides API, white label and online booking tool that enables distribution solutions for a wide range of online players.

Overall Impression
Simply put, the objective is to create a global marketplace for rail, connecting distributors with suppliers.

Rail is a $300 Billion global market and is also the fastest growing sector in travel space. Additionally, Online Travel Agencies & Travel Management Companies sell only 1% of rail tickets.

I share their opinion that this represents an unparalleled opportunity.

SilverRail is doing what Wandrian wanted to do before they ran out of money. Reportedly, some of the learnings and intellectual property from Wandrian has made its way into SilverRail.

They have also launched Quno, a consumer website and has plans to be the largest dynamic packager of rail and hotel across the European continent.

Through their dynamic packaging strategy, SilverRail gains access to some great margin opportunities.

Absence of competition in the global rail space makes the play even more attractive.

Technological Innovation:
SilverRail provides distributors with seamless integration into hotel & air packaging.

They also work with clients, like Reardon to provide support for corporate policies.

Business Model Sustainability:
SilverRail’s focus is on Europe; linking major European markets. With the recent US election results, this makes a lot of sense.

SilverRail’s presentation highlighted a statistic that in major European city pairs, high speed rail is pulling substantial share from airline business. They said High Speed Rail captures 60% market share on average in many European city pairs.

With big spending on High Speed Rail in Asia, especially China, there would seem to be considerable potential for future growth

Marketplace Impact:
SilverRail also cited the $200 Billion global investment in High Speed Rail last year, which is double the total spending on all other travel industry infrastructure.

With this massive government investment, a definite challenge exists in working with state-run rail operations and their ability to work with some onerous, and frequently online distribution-hostile policies and platforms.

However, the good news is that once the politics are conquered, there is a big opportunity to capture market share.

Due to the market size, lack of absence of online penetration and lack of competition, SilverRail is well positioned to capture considerable market share.

Official Result: PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit New Company Finalist.

Community Comments: SilverRail What The Hashtag Twitter Archive

The 2010 Travel Innovation Summit is part of the PhoCusWright Conference – Held November 16-18, 2010 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona USA

About Robert Cole

Robert Cole is the founder of RockCheetah, a hotel marketing strategy and travel technology consulting practice. He also authors the Views from a Corner Suite Blog and publishes the Travel Quote of the Day. Robert speaks regularly at major travel industry conferences, authors articles for leading travel industry publications, advises travel-related startups and the equity investment community. He is an evangelist for the global travel industry.