Himachal Pradesh, India, March 06, 2023: ParaBooking, an online paragliding booking portal from FlutterBuy Ecom Ventures has today announced seed funding of INR 50 lakhs under the Him Startup Yojna of the Department of Industries, Himachal Pradesh. Creating history, this is the first time ever that a Himachal Pradesh-based tech startup has developed sophisticated SaaS-based tools that can scale across the nation to bring safety and regulations in the adventure sports industry.
The company has undergone incubation at IIT Mandi Catalyst in Himachal Pradesh and fine-tuned its technology and business model from world-class mentors. ParaBooking operates through a two-pronged model for generating revenues: adventure sport (paragliding) and SaaS tools for adventure tourism operators/agencies across the nation. Currently an 8-member team, ParaBooking looks forward to utilizing the funds to double down on their technology and go to market.
Founded by Ankush Rana, Deepak Abrol, Sohail Lalani, and Vikram Thakur in 2021, ParaBooking.com is an online portal for customers to book paragliding flights in some of the major destinations across India like Bir-Billing, Dharamshala, and Manali. One of the main intentions to start ParaBooking is to bring in safety and regulations in the adventure tourism industry in India. Along with the website to book paragliding flights, ParaBooking additionally offers an Application for tourism operators to digitize and automate their operations which are sold on a SaaS model.
Over the 18 months of operations, ParaBooking has facilitated more than 5,000 flights across India and is fast growing. The company is also venturing into trekking and adventure sports like kayaking. Adventure sports in India has massive potential but the critical factor of safety remains a huge concern among the masses, this is an area where FlutterBuy plans to thrive as a venture. Pertaining to paragliding- several parameters need to be inspected such as the equipment’s airworthiness, the pilot’s skill level, knowledge of the weather conditions, terrain awareness, and more, which are currently not considered. This area of concern was the critical reason that led to the Government of Himachal Pradesh investing in organisations providing safe adventure tourism experiences.
“The safety of travellers visiting our state will remain a priority for our tourism board, and towards this goal, we will focus on enabling ventures that are catering to the needs of the safe adventure sports in the state.” says Sh. Rakesh Prajapati (IAS) Director, HP Industries
Quotes from the Team Involved
“The Saas application is built with data federation capabilities specially customised for the real-time operational nature of adventure sports. On one hand, it manages the assets and resources, and on the other hand integrates flexibly with multiple independent data sources covering the booking portal, insurance API integration, and real-time resource (pilot and equipment) assignments to name a few. In the future, we look forward further to integrating with real-time telemetry through IOT and tracker devices to further enhance the security aspect of adventure sports,” says Prasenjit Dey, Technical Advisor.
“Through ParaBooking, we have built an agile and scalable technology to handle our operations and manage paragliding bookings at scale. The same technology can be adapted for other adventure tourism companies to digitize their operations of all the other adventure sports and give end-customers a superior experience,” says Sohail Lalani, CTO at ParaBooking.
“The finest aviators of the Indian Himalayas; namely Ajay Sharma, Arvind Paul, Debu Choudhury, Gurpreet Dhindsa and Manjeet Thakur were consulted while creating the framework that can be scaled across the country to improve safety. We have received an immense amount of support from these mentors.” says Deepak Abrol, CFO at ParaBooking.
“With the GoI working on the National Aero Sports Policy and setting up a National Level Institute here in Bir, we are hopeful of a positive change which will be more conducive for this sport to thrive and in turn benefit the locals here. We are grateful that the government is taking note of such ventures and providing the aid to push them in the right direction. We will put the funds endowed by the government towards the growth of safe adventure sports in India.” says Vikram Thakur, COO at ParaBooking.
“Himachal Pradesh has a huge tourism economy that can benefit from the parabooking.com. Other than benefiting the tourists in finding attractive destinations and adventure sports, parabooking.com is also helping bring more business for the adventure sports service providers in the state. IIT Mandi Catalyst has known the founding team of parabooking.com for about two years and believes strongly in their vision and capabilities. It’s time that the world experienced the beauty of Himachal through parabooking.com” says Dr. Puran Singh of IIT Mandi.
“One of the biggest problems with adventure sports in India is that the focus on safety and a good experience is so low that a customer gives it up after one attempt. At Parabooking, we started out with a mission to provide the best customer experience by creating an onboarding process of certified pilots, verified equipment, along with insurance that enables Heli rescue in paragliding for the first time. A local weather station for latest local developments in the weather can help choose the best timings for Take-Offs and avoid unnecessary anxiety. This funding from IIT Mandi will help us move the needle in this mission of ours to take safe and secured adventure sports to the masses,” says Ankush Rana, CEO of Parabooking.