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Nov. 1, 2021

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

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...


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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