Kurosh Hashemi is the founder and CEO of RoadGoat. Prior to starting RoadGoat, Kurosh founded and led the Ultraviolet LED Lighting business at Philips Lighting, which was acquired by Apollo Management. Kurosh also has extensive expertise across the Internet of Things and location data. He earned his MBA at UC Berkeley, where he was a Haas Merit Scholar. In this interview, he will talk about why he founded RoadGoat, what his solution has to offer, and what’s next for the company.
E-3 Magazine: What exactly does RoadGoat offer?
Kurosh Hashemi: RoadGoat is a pocket travel guide. We provide user-generated data for over 4 million travel destinations – neighborhoods, towns, and cities. Travelers can use RoadGoat to figure out how safe a place is, whether an area is low-risk for COVID-19, if it is tagged for business travelers or foodies, and much more. We even provide a travel map for users that they can automatically update with all their social media accounts, business trip data, fitness trackers, Google Maps, and more. We initially started as a consumer app but we’ve now teamed up with Concur to deliver the same great experience for business travelers.
How does your solution work?
Hashemi: At the heart of our technology is a database of over 4 million travel destinations. Our users contribute meaningful insights about each of these destinations and we supplement this guidance with some more data-driven insights such as information about COVID-19, safety, when to go, budgetary ratings, and more. All that customers need to join RoadGoat is a WIFI-enabled device, as it is a completely free platform.
Why did you start RoadGoat to begin with?
Hashemi: We started RoadGoat because we felt that there was a lack of information about travel destinations. While sites like TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp give great context about local businesses, no one is providing context about neighborhoods or towns – that’s where we come in. We help you understand if a destination is good for business travelers, nightlife, foodies, and more. Is it safe? What’s the COVID-19 situation? Is it LGBTQ+-friendly? Our users rate, rank, and tag destinations to help guide each other.
How are you connected to SAP? Can your solution be integrated in SAP systems?
Hashemi: SAP Concur is one of our favorite partners. We were one of seven companies globally invited to be part of SAP Concur’s Travel Accelerator and we love their team and product. RoadGoat is connected with SAP Concur on the Concur App Center. Users can simply go to the webpage and click connect to push their travels over digital pastures to RoadGoat for free. From there, RoadGoat opens a number of value-add features such as auto-updating travel maps, insights into which contacts are in town when you travel, and more. RoadGoat is also integrated with SAP Concur’s TripIt app. Users can go to RoadGoat and click to sync with TripIt, which, like the Concur integration, keeps users’ travel maps up to date automatically.
How has SAP.io’s involvement impacted your journey?
Hashemi: We’re very grateful to have been part of the SAP.io Accelerator. What’s been most valuable is the people and mentorship to help guide us through some of the nuances of the business travel industry, as well as getting to know many of SAP Concur’s great customers.
What’s next for RoadGoat?
Hashemi: Our consumer products are continuing to grow exponentially. We’re going to add a number of partners to import travel data from to build users’ travel maps. We’re also super excited to introduce travel data services to other travel companies through our Travel Destination API, which will allow other travel apps and websites to provide context on our 4 million travel destinations on their own products.