Ones to Watch: Travacoin–Blockchain-based payment system which allows airlines to refund customers

By Business & Finance
27 July 2018
21/05/2015 - NovaUCD - Pictured at NovaUCD is Brian Whelan, founder, Travacoin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Pictured at NovaUCD is Brian Whelan, CEO & founder of Travacoin. (Photo: Nick Bradshaw, Fotonic).

In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top movers and shakers. This week we feature Travacoin.

What is it?

Travacoin is a Blockchain-based payment system which enables airlines to refund and compensate passengers when a disruption occurs. Passengers will be notified of a delay or cancellation and paid in digital coins. They will be encouraged to repurchase airline tickets and or airport and other travel related services. They will also be facilitated in making payments to charities with their windfall.

Who’s behind it?

The founder and CEO of Travacoin is Brian Whelan. He is a seasoned communications and business consultant, with extensive experience in passenger rights from both the public and private sectors. He is a serial entrepreneur, most recently setting up and then selling which helped passengers recover taxes, fees and charges when they booked but, for whatever reason, did not take a flight.

How is it funded?

Apart from receiving a feasibility grant from Enterprise Ireland, Travacoin is privately funded.  The company, which is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, expects to raise equity in the fourth quarter of 2018 and has not ruled out the possibility of conducting an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) in 2019.

Future plans?

Having conducted an economic and commercial feasibility study with FTI Consulting, Travacoin has also recently completed its MVP (Minimum Viable Product) with the help of IT partners Wipro. Travacoin’s immediate plans are to validate these exercises in the real world and it has started working with a number of airlines to fine tune the product before developing it to enterprise level.  It is hoped to launch the product in the second half of 2019.