Careers at ZOZI
Zozi is a software company that provides online reservation, payment, and customer management solutions to tour operators and travel companies worldwide. It also operates an online marketplace through which customers can book tours and activities.
Zozi was founded in 2007 by TJ Sassani (“Sassani”) and Daniel Gruneberg (“Gruneberg”). The Company stems from Sassani’s decision in 2006 to quit his corporate job and travel the world. While he was abroad, Sassani reportedly found it difficult to book local activities and excursions, and so decided that on his return he would develop a more accessible online system for travellers to purchase experiences.
Sassani initially found it difficult to attract customers, despite having obtained a large catalogue of trips and activities. This caused the Company to change its business model focusing more on low-cost, local offerings that would build the Company’s reputation and serve as a gateway to the Company’s more expensive products. Zozi has since begun to offer more high-end trips, and introduced a two-pronged revenue model with the development of its software-as-a-service online reservation management product.
Since receiving $1.3 million in seed capital in 2008, Zozi has raised more than $44 million in total from investors including Bridge Bank, BoxGroup, Dolby Family Ventures, and Global Brain Corporation. The Company also received a high-profile in 2015 investment from billionaire Richard Branson. Zozi has received a number of awards. In 2015 it was ranked 17th in Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies and was named as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America.
Benefits at ZOZI
Business model of ZOZI
Zozi’s two-pronged business model targets different customer segments. Its direct consumer-facing website serves general consumers that are seeking new activities, events and excursions in which to take part.
The Company’s offerings cater to a wide range of interests – including adventure trips, extreme sports, food and drink experiences, classes, spa breaks and sightseeing tours – with products appropriate for all ages and at a variety of differing price points.
While the Company provides access to experiences across the world, its principal market remains the US, which accounts for the vast majority of the Company’s website traffic.
Zozi’s business software solutions serve a number of small and medium-sized local tour operators, event organisers, equipment rental providers and activity centres.
Zozi’s principal value to consumers is that it allows them to browse and book a broad variety of activities and experiences across a range of locations, both local and international, from one single place. The website’s searchable catalogue is easy to access and navigate, and provides access to deals that are not available elsewhere, through its network of supplier partners.
Zozi also sets itself apart from competitors by offering high-end experiences and insights provided by experts, including extreme sports practitioners and explorers, through its Zozi Gurus program.
For business customers, Zozi’s greatest value is its software, which enables tour companies to manage online reservations, rentals and payments from one platform.
The platform is accessible via desktop and mobile browsers and through mobile apps, allowing customers to manage its bookings from anywhere.
The Zozi marketplace can be accessed by consumers through its mobile and desktop websites at www.zozi.com, where users can make bookings and reservations. The Company’s catalogue of tours and experiences can also be accessed via its network of affiliate partners, which account for much of the Zozi website’s traffic.
Zozi’s business software can be purchased and accessed through the Company website. Zozi also provides iOS and Android apps that enable its business customers to view bookings and rentals and accept online payments.
Zozi’s online marketplace operates on a self-service basis, providing a fully searchable catalogue of tours and experiences, categorised by location, style, and social group Consumers are able to make purchases and bookings through the website directly, with no interaction with Zozi representatives. Consumers also have access to reviews and advice contributed by members of the Zozi Guru team, which comprises extreme sports practitioners, explorers and photographers.
Business customers are able to organise software trials and demos through the Zozi website, with sales being completed via the Company’s sales team. Zozi’s business customers receive support through the website’s Help Centre, which includes common questions, user tutorials and troubleshooting guides. Zozi also hosts a blog through which it publishes business tips for tour, operators and event organisers.
Both consumer and business customers can stay up to date with Zozi’s activities through its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Zozi provides online reservation, payment, and customer management software solutions to tour and activity businesses, primarily across the US but also internationally, and operates an online marketplace of tours, activities and experiences.
The Company’s flagship Zozi Advance software product serves as a full-service online booking system, allowing tour operators to manage their schedules, reservations, rentals and online payments from one place, with mobile access to the system available via its iOS and Android apps.
Its backend software also enables customers to manage inventory and customer communications and a mobile application to run business on the go and take mobile payments.
The Company also manages an affiliate marketing network and provides reviews and advice through its team of Zozi Gurus.
Zozi’s key partners are its tour and experience suppliers, social media applications, affiliates and technology companies. The Company’s consumer-facing marketplace sells tours, experiences and access to attractions provided by a network of suppliers, primarily comprising local or regional tour operators, travel agencies, museums, activity centres, event organisers, workshops, restaurants and bars. This includes local operators around the US and abroad, including Xperience Adventures, Urban Adventures, Discover Hawaii Tours, Getaway Halong Spa, Ecuador Pure Life and Dot Red.
Zozi also operates an affiliate marketing program, through which affiliate partners can earn commissions through referrals. It has in particular worked closely with affiliate marketing agency Clique. The Company has also partnered with location-based search and discovery platform Foursquare and group messaging application GroupMe, with which it has integrated functionality. F
oursquare now makes Zozi local daily deals viewable through its app, and GroupMe has collaborated with Zozi through its GroupMe Experiences program which offers deals on local events.
Zozi’s key resources are its software products, its IT infrastructure, its supplier partners and its personnel.
The Company’s consumer revenue model depends on the quality of its catalogue and the discounts offered by its suppliers, while the Company’s business revenue depends on the reliability and efficiency of its software.
Zozi’s principal costs relate to the development of its software products, maintenance of its IT infrastructure and retention of its personnel.
The Company must also pay commissions to its affiliate marketing partners which drive much of the Zozi website’s traffic, and pay rental and utility fees for its offices in San Francisco, New York and Chicago.
Zozi generates revenue through the sale of software products and services to businesses and via the sale of activities and tours directly to consumers. This revenue is estimated to be as much as $117 million per year.
The Company’s flagship Zozi Advance platform, which enables customers to manage their business’ booking system, communications and online payments from one place, is available on a subscription basis starting at $39 per month. Zozi also takes a 10% commission on sales made through its online tour and activity marketplace.
Previously, the Company generated additional revenue through the sale of travel and adventure equipment and clothing, it, however, appears to have discontinue this revenue stream.
info: TJ has served as Zozi’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since its foundation. After graduating from the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 1998 with bachelor’s degrees in International Business Management and Business Marketing, Sassani pursue a career in sales, joining Brassring as its Sales Director in 2000. After five years he moved to Lux Research, a provider of corporate nanotechnology strategies, where he served as Director of the Americas and Asia until 2006. Sassani took a short break from the corporate world before beginning work on Zozi in 2007.
info: Daniel has served as Zozi’s President since 2008. After graduating from Fordham University with bachelor’s degrees in Economics, Finance and Chinese, Gruneberg joined Lux Research as a member of its International Business Development Division in 2004. It was here that he met fellow Zozi co-founder Sassani. The pair began developing the Zozi business together, with Gruneberg ultimately left Lux Research in 2008 to focus on the Company full time.
info: Steven joined Zozi as its Senior Vice President of Sales in 2011. After graduating from State University of New York College at Brockport with bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Marketing, Weidman worked at newspaper publisher Gannett and payroll and human resources services provider Paychex.
info: Scott joined Zozi in 2015. He began his career in the 1990s as a financial and investment analyst, working for Deutsche Bank and Scale Venture Partners, before pursuing a career in marketing. In 2000 he joined Walmart as an internet services manager, later moving to Yahoo where he served as a member of the Yahoo Music Product Marketing Division. Engelman served as Vice President of Marketing at prepaid debit card provider NetSpend from 2008 to 2011, before joining LinkedIn in as Head of Online Marketing in 2012. In 2014 he was appointed LinkedIn’s Senior Director and Head of Consumer Marketing, his final executive role before joining Zozi.
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