#304: Alex Simon, Co-Founder of Budget Based Travel Company Elude, on Innovating in an Established Industry and the Power of Partnerships


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By Justin Gordon. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Alex Simon is the Co-Founder and CEO of Elude, a budget based travel company getting you out of your office and around the world. Alex previously worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, a career he left in 2018 to turn travel hacking into his full-time gig as an entrepreneur with his co-founder, Frankie Scerbo. Elude is a travel search engine & app that allows people to discover and book unique travel packages based only on your budget and date. Think "Where can you go next month for $700." They are internationally venture backed in LA and Singapore with angel investors throughout NY, SF, LA & UK.

Topics Covered by Alex Simon in this Episode
  • What Elude is and who it serves

  • How the backend of the app functions

  • How Alex and his co-founder Frankie’s personal experiences led to the founding of Elude

  • The early days of Elude and getting their first users

  • Jumping from two thousand to tens of thousands of customers via partnerships

  • Transitioning out of an investment banking career into full time entrepreneurship

  • How they approached fundraising by focusing on warm intros and direct leads

  • Transitioning from fundraising from angel investors to raising a seed round from a fund

  • How they allocated their seed round funding

  • The challenges of innovating in a very established industry

  • The consumer experience with the Elude app

  • Organic versus paid growth and the value of partnerships

  • Elude’s business model

  • Building and growing a remote team

  • Launching a travel industry startup during a global pandemic

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315 episodes