TRAVEL NEWS – 01 June 2022: Moonback, previously known as Beterboeken.nl, has announced a 2nd crowdfunding round to grow faster. The aim is to compete with booking platform Booking.com after an accumulation of financial scandals.
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Why it matters to you
In this article, I'll explain what crowdfunding is all about and why anyone who loves to travel could support Moonback in taking the fight to Booking.com.
Booking.com = 20 billion turnover
Booking.com is the largest booking platform in the world. It achieved a turnover of a sloppy 2019 billion in 20 alone, of which a gigantic 5 billion remained as net profit. Nothing wrong you would say, well done.
Booking.com applies for state aid
And yet a few months later, the platform asked for (and received) 65 million in state aid from the Dutch government when the corona pandemic hit. It was indicative of the (grabbing) culture that prevailed among the shareholders of Booking.com. Where has all that profit gone? Is Booking.com itself unable to take this loss?
When it became known in 2020 that Booking.com received 65 million in state aid, even more bad apples surfaced. Booking.com had already received 1,8 billion in state aid in the period from 2010 to 2018.
Billions disappear every year
Booking.com let the Dutch taxpayer pay for the disappointing results while shareholders put billions in the pocket every year. The Dutch people then reacted indignantly. This was impossible. It had to change because this is simply criminal. And so it happened.
LinkedIn post went viral
The crowdfunding journey of Moonback (formerly known as Beterboeken.nl) started exactly at that moment. In May 2020, a LinkedIn post went viral and was viewed by more than 2,5 million people.
Shortly afterwards, the crowdfunding campaign followed, which collected no less than 2 million euros in seed capital. Moonback wants to take up the fight with Booking.com, but in a fair way. For everyone.
The online hotel market is broken
It is not only the state aid that contributes to the prevailing culture within the company. The ever-increasing commissions, deceptive websites and monopolies of big tech companies like booking.com, there seems to be no end to it.
Platforms on which providers (hotel owners) and buyers (you, the consumers) come together have been completely paralyzed. The human dimension has been lost due to the pursuit of profit and the greed of shareholders.
Consequence for travelers
As a result, travelers pay more and are constantly frustrated by manipulative web design (dark patterns), and the information is not transparent and fair.
Consequence for Hotels
Hotels are frustrated because they have to pay higher and higher commissions. These can go up to 25% per booking. The hotel will charge you for the ever-increasing commissions. So you pay more and more for the same hotelwithout the hotel being able to do anything about it.
Consequence for Wereldreizigers.nl
Publishers like Wereldreizigers.nl are also frustrated. As a result of unilateral changes to the 'conditions', we also receive less and less money for referring customers. Booking.com's revenue grows due to changes in terms and conditions at the expense of all the websites the customers have referred to. The websites watch helplessly.
What's up with that exactly: Normally a website cookie ensures that a reference is stored for 30 to 100 days. This is so that a small part of the profit can then flow back to the publisher/website that the customer refers to. That's so fair.
Hardly any commission anymore
However, Booking.com has unilaterally decided to get rid of this. We, the publisher, only receive a commission if you (the customer) view the hotel through us and then also book directly at that time. Just closing and booking later literally only means profit for Booking.com and nothing more for us. All the time and energy we put into it will have been for nothing.
Transparent: and to give you an idea of the seriousness of the matter: I like to be transparent to you, below is an image of our Booking.com turnover over the past period...
In the above period we have roughly 60.000 potential customers by Wereldreizigers.nl forwarded to Booking.com.
And what is the turnover for Wereldreizigers.nl† About 100 euros…
Booking.com does everything it can to avoid sharing the profits. It is typical of the culture that prevails in the company. They do everything they can to squeeze out stakeholders involved in booking a trip for their own benefit. And because of the monopoly position of the company, we can't do anything about it. We do need them.
Crowdfunding to take the fight
Enough is enough
Moonback wants to use crowdfunding to show the travel and hotel world that things can be done differently. With fair prices and cancellation conditions for everyone, a lower commission than other booking sites and support for a good cause in the city where the traveler is going. That is fair. For travelers, hotel owners, society and yes, also for Moonback and its crowdfunders.
Moonback is a built with crowdfunding platform that stands for freedom of choice and honest business† A platform that makes booking a hotel a promising start to the booker's journey. A platform of the entrepreneur without grabbing shareholders behind it. Shareholders who keep pushing for higher fees and demanding more profit for themselves at the expense of everyone and everything.
Wereldreizigers.nl already participated in the first crowdfunding round for Moonback in 2020. Now that there is a 2nd round for further expanding the platform, we will certainly show our support again. This article is part of that, but we will also see whether our finances allow us to make a contribution again.
As a traveler or travel blogger, are you also participating in Moonback's crowdfunding this time? Are you ready to become part of the movement? Then go to Moonback's website to see what jij can do.
Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!