Miami Tech & Startup News

Crewfare makes your group travel easy with an all-in-one booking platform

Crewfare makes your group travel easy with an all-in-one booking platform

By Marcella McCarthy

If you’ve ever planned a group dinner at a restaurant, you know that settling the bill can be a pain. Now, imagine trying to plan a large group trip to a big event like a music festival – between flights, hotels, and transportation alone, it can get hectic and become an ordeal for whoever took on the planning.

That’s where Crewfare comes in. The soon-to-be one-year-old Miami company partners with events and offers a white label solution that makes it easier for event-goers to book all different aspects of their travel from one place. The goal, the company said in a statement, is to provide a better all-around experience that likens the event experience itself.

While friends can book together, they can pay separately and in installments, and they even get discounted rates. Think of personalized wedding websites that share information such as how to get there, where to stay, local transportation options, and more, but all with a seamless booking experience.

Crewfare launched in May 2021 by three friends that met at the University of Miami nearly a decade ago. The first event the company worked on was Preakness Stakes, an iconic horserace and second leg of the Triple Crown in its 146th year. 

But Crewfare isn’t the team’s entree into travel and hospitality.

“I started a travel agency when I was at UM, and the last 10 years have just been about learning what’s missing in the space,” said Jason van Esso, co-founder, and CEO of Crewfare. While in college he planned group spring breaks and other group trips, and that’s how he got started thinking about the pain points in the industry. 

His cofounders, who previously also worked in travel and hospitality, are Zach Picon and Jordan Scheffler. Coincidentally, all three worked at Groot Hospitality – one of Miami’s famed hospitality groups. Groot owns some of Miami’s biggest nightclubs such as LIV and Story, restaurants such as Komodo, Swan, and Planta, and even a hotel. The firm focuses on delivering unique, top-of-the-line experiences, and that’s Crewfare’s goal, too.

Crewfare has 25 full-time and part-time employees and van Esso said they’ve been profitable from very early on. He estimates that the company is growing between 20-30% month over month. It makes money through a traditional travel agency model, and to date, van Esso said, the company has partnered with more than 50 events including Ultra, Rolling Loud, and Complex, and has serviced more than 50,000 travelers.

“We’re a travel agency, so there’s no cost to the event [organizer] but we are making money off of every booking that we do,” van Esso told Refresh.

For event staff, the company provides services including room block management, preferred rate procurement, and 24/7 customer support. 

“The cost-savings and time we save our events make a significant difference to their bottom line and allow them to focus on producing an incredible event,” the company said in a statement.

Photo at top of post: from left to right, Jason van Esso, Jordan Scheffler, Zachary Picon