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Friends of Friends Travel – or FOF Travel for short – is an app that will make it really easy to ask friends for help when travelling. Think: Airbnb/Couchsurfing meets Facebook. Or LinkedIn for travel.
You know how on social networking sites like Facebook, you see status updates like: "Does anyone know anyone in New York who can help put me up for a night?" or "Going to Europe! Hit me up with suggestions!"? Well, what we do is automate that whole process - and take the awkwardness out of the situation! - by giving people a reason and a platform to offer help before anyone even asks.
Through FOF Travel, you're connected directly to your second-degree friends. You won't need to ask your friends if they know anyone in New York, because you can see for yourself who they know there, and what those people are already willing to help you with for free, or a small fee.
Unlike other hospitality exchange services, that usually focus on accommodation only, you can "FOF" just about anything from a free place to stay to somewhere to leave your stuff for the night , a tour of the city , coffee with a local or maybe even rent a spare wakeboard or tent someone has collecting dust in the shed. Awesome!
Krissa is the CEO and founder of Friends of Friends Travel. If you want to know where FOF's spirit, drive, culture and inspiration comes from, your search stops here. Very much a people person but also fiercely independent, Krissa is responsible for attracting and bringing together great talent and minds to collaborate on and execute the vision, strategy and mission of FOF. As one of the key faces of FOF Travel, Krissa has helped grow the business to reach 130+ countries around the world and over 17,000 registered users and fans across all of FOF's channels. She has skilfully lined up and partnered FOF already with the best in travel industry, including STA Travel, Hostelworld.com, G Adventures, RacingThePlanet, Topdeck and more.
When not working on FOF, Krissa teaches yoga part-time and consults other business with their digital and online marketing strategies and activities. She holds citizenship and residency status in the USA, Philippines and Hong Kong. And has also lived in Singapore, London and the Caribbean. Krissa met co-founder, DJ, at the age of 13 where they both attended West Island international school in Hong Kong. She holds a First Class Honours Degree in Media & Communications from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Daljeet or "DJ" is Marketing Guru and co-founder of FOF Travel. As Krissa's right-hand man, DJ is responsible for maintaining and disseminating FOF's culture and identity inside the platform and broader marketing activities. In between brainstorming campaigns and conducting interviews, managing social media and briefing designers, DJ is also an "ops" guy helping to keep the house in order. Krissa and DJ have a very special bond that is reflected in the very fabric and nature of FOF. They make a formidable team and together have put FOF - and each other - in the likes of TIME magazine, the NY Times, The Times, C|Net, Skift, CollaborativeConsumption.com and more.
When not working on FOF, DJ loves to go nuts on the dance floor and crochet! He is also the Marketing Manager for one of the world's largest business coaching firms. DJ is a Third-Culture Kid like Krissa and has lived in New Zealand, Brunei, Hong Kong, Australia and London. He holds a triple degree in Physics, Archeology and Creative Writing from Melbourne University.
Oscar is Chief Technology Officer of FOF Travel and responsible for all things IT and tech-related. An ex-Couchsurfer, Oscar's domain of expertise is translating into intelligent code and design what Krissa and DJ have stewing in their minds. Humble and hard-working, Oscar is a pragmatic, self-taught polymath who is passionate about his crafts. He is meticulous in his research and planning as well as driven by a very deep and powerful desire to build great things and do it right. Moving forward, Oscar will be maintaining the integrity, performance and security of the site; managing a team of developers on-site and off-shore.
When not working on FOF, Oscar lives in London with his Australian wife, Kim and adorable little step-daughter, Lumen. Prior to FOF he was working full-time at a digital agency designing, creating, deploying and maintaining a slew of web applications.
Founder & CEO of Roth Management and Vagabond World. Voted Top 500 Cultural Influencers in the World, 2013 by The Guardian / Observer & Courvoisier. Ryan's role on the FOF Travel advisory board is to not only mentor and advise the team from a business sense and logical point of view, but to help position and re-present FOF in a way that its significance in positively impacting culture, society and travel via the sharing economy and collaborative consumption does not go unnoticed. "Some things just need to exist. Because it's obvious how they benefit people and how they go about their daily lives. FOF Travel is one of those things that just needs to exist. Who doesn't love to travel? And who doesn't rely on their friends and friends of friends for help? FOF is a social enterprise just as much as it could be a really cool travel app.
Entrepreneur, Actor, Journalist. Founder of SponsorBridge and www.StuckForStaff.com - the UK and USA's largest promotional staff resource. Recognised as part of the Who's Who of Britain's Business Elite - Young Business Leaders, 2010. FOF-style, Darren became part of our advisory board after two separate recommendations from close friends and friends of friends for him and the team to meet. As an avid traveller and adventurer himself, the synergy and mutual interest in what we were doing was instantaneous. A natural people-person and very well connected, Darren will be helping FOF spread amongst influential circles in West Coast USA where he resides in LA, as well as within relevant globe-trotting communities he is part of worldwide. Alongside Ryan, Darren also acts as a trustworthy sounding board for the team.
Co-Founder & CTO of Azimo - a groundbreaking and disruptive new money transfer service which recently received US$10 million in Series A funding from Greycroft Partners - and Flaber Ltd - his own development agency. Marek and Krissa first met working for the same digital agency years ago in London. Krissa was the Account and Project Manager, Marek was the Lead Developer, working on some interesting projects in the Caribbean. They remained good friends and when Krissa announced FOF Travel as her latest venture, Marek persistently reached out for a year until the time was right to set up an Advisory Board and have him mentor our newly-appointed CTO, Oscar Duignan. Marek is one of the most sought-after developers in the London Tech scene. His clear knowledge of how to handle robust and secure systems and transactions online will be hugely insightful for the upcoming FOF app.
CEO & Founder of UMI Digital, a design and technology house for the hospitality and hotel industry in the UK, Board Member of BETA (The British Educational Travel Association), the umbrella body representing producers and suppliers of youth, student and educational travel related services and STAY WYSE (Safe Travel Accommodation for Youth and World Youth Student Education), the only not-for-profit industry association to represent the entire global youth travel accommodation sector. Suffice to say Steve comes brings a wealth of knowledge, understanding and experience of what the current and future travel industry needs, from a supplier and consumer point of view. Well-connected and respected, Steve is a keen supporter of FOF Travel and the team, and will help endorse our product and vision once it goes live.
Founder of Iwoork Web Solutions - a development agency based in HK and Manila that specialises in Drupal, Node.js, Meteor.js and mobile app development - Efren and Krissa met while working together on various digital projects in Hong Kong, and via mutual friends. Similar to her working history with Marek, Krissa and Efren also have a good and honest relationship, with a mutual respect for what each other does. Efren's greatest contribution to the FOF Travel team will be to help mentor and advise Oscar particularly with the application of Meteor.js to the new FOF Travel app. He also has a team of hard-working developers who will be able to provide support as our business and technical requirements grow over the upcoming months ahead.
Intrepid traveller and a real social butterfly, Kate has been working in the youth travel industry for the last 7 years as a Sales Consultant for STA Travel and most recently Business Development Manager at Topdeck, two of FOF Travel's closest business partners. She recently bid farewell to the team to pursue her own desires to see the world and "FOF it" around Asia. As a casual advisor to FOF Travel, Kate really gets the business, what we are trying to achieve and how we can benefit not just tech-savvy millennial travellers, but also tour operators and other service providers as well like the ones she's worked for, who will be able to use FOF to reach, assist and interact directly with this growing market.