David Fastuca built Locomote with his cousin Ross in 2012 on a simple premise: to remove the pain of corporate travel while improving the accountability. Simple to say, hard to deliver — exactly the type of challenge that appeals to David and Ross.
The two had previously run a website and marketing agency providing services to the market — selling their time for money. But they aspired to do more: to build a great product. That challenge really triggered in both of them a desire to look for a problem to solve.
David and Ross discovered that companies had disjointed experiences using travel booking systems. They constantly sought premium products and services to try to save costs and improve efficiency. But they also lacked the insights and data they needed to make sense of their travel operations.
So the product built was Locomote: a corporate travel platform, integrated with market leaders, empowering companies to manage every aspect of their corporate travel programs, including approvals, bookings, duty of care, compliance, expenses, policy and cost control. The platform can be used from any device anywhere in the world — described by David as “one site, one experience, high value”.
It’s all about the people
David believes his company’s success is built on its people. “Originally there were three of us, now we have 53 people in Australia, Poland, Russia, Ireland, the UK and soon in the US. We’ve gone around the world to find the engineering talent we need to be able to build our application and product, and we have some fantastic engineers, including Australians who have moved overseas to form teams around them. We’ve also created an outstanding management team which helps ground the company. We have a new CEO in Sandra McLeod, with over 25 years of experience in the travel space; our COO Bryan Carroll, CFO Pip Spibey-Dodd, as well as myself as CMO and cousin Ross as CIO.
“I think people are the key to success and attracting great people is therefore the largest challenge. Ross and I are firm believers in hiring people who share your visions and share the beliefs that drive the company. We might spend as long as six months looking for and talking to candidates, because we think it’s that important. We look for people who are prepared to help their colleagues.”
David also taps the benefits of structured mentoring. “We’ve recently joined an entrepreneurs’ group that lets us talk through and work through problems and challenges, and sharing and hearing others having similar experiences is a real help. You realize you’re not alone.”
Operating globally, David and the Locomote team have expansion in their sights: “We obviously seek to be global, and we’ve started that, and the plans for 2016 and beyond are to grow the overseas user-base in the US and the UK and Europe. We want to make Locomote synonymous with corporate travel. To become the necessity, not the option.”
This series, brought to you in partnership with Microsoft Surface. #microsoftsmb #rarebirdscon16 #mystartingstory