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Super-rich concierge app The Prelude to hit $20m in sales

the prelude app

Travel agents are officially out of style, but have left a gap in their wake that self-service online booking platforms haven’t been able to fill.

This is especially the case for executives and high-net worth individuals, who can spend millions every year on travel but struggle with the logistics of booking multiple trips each month for work, family, and vacation – like dealing with slow response times, mistakes in bookings, and a lack of support with existing platforms and concierge services. 

The Prelude, a membership-based luxury concierge company, is filling this gap by delivering the highest quality of service while utilizing cutting-edge technology to connect ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) with their powerful global trade network, providing the ultimate member experience. 

As the name suggests, The Prelude – which is often referred to as the ‘opening note’ – solves the market need through highly personalized service, responsive support, expert travel and trade knowledge, and an extreme focus on attention to detail during the planning process. The company raised an undisclosed seed round from Turnbull Capital Holdings (the investment company of serial entrepreneur, Anmol Bhandari) and appointed a line-up of high profile advisors including Alex Spiro (Attorney to A-List Celebrities such as Elon Musk, Jay-Z, Alec Baldwin and more) among others. The company is now on track to hit $20 million in gross sales by the end of this year.

The Prelude was founded by Stefan Di-Finizio, a veteran in the luxury travel space. He started his career over a decade ago working for SkyClub, Europe’s leading First and Business Class flight agency, before joining digital concierge company Velocity Black to spearhead the travel division. After three years there, Stefan became an independent private concierge to UHNWIs for bespoke travel solutions globally. The Prelude aims to solve the fragmented concierge and travel market on a larger scale with its dedicated mobile app and platform coupled with client dedicated teams servicing the needs of their members. 

Today’s travel industry is broken into two types of service: self-service online booking models and large credit card companies that provide outsourced travel support. UHNWIs have been disappointed with the lackluster booking experience. The Prelude has had success at achieving a high touch feel while also complementing it with modern luxuries in the form of a dedicated lifestyle manager backed by their two assistants who never manages more than 10 members, along with an innovative mobile app where individuals can talk to their lifestyle manager, book experiences, view all of their bookings and itineraries, and have a fully hands on and immersive experience. 

“The Prelude is the first end-to-end solution. To sum it up, we are solving time optimization for our members to help them reap the best experiences when they travel. In an ever-changing world, given the pace of new information and how quickly things change, there is a pressing need for an expert in this space to be able to adapt to members’ families, work, and general schedule changes. We are doing exactly that, while providing a personal and unforgettable user experience along the way,” said founder Stefan Di-Finizio.

Today, The Prelude’s members typically spend anywhere from $200,000 to $3 million per year on travel, and primarily include ultra-high net worth families planning multiple holidays a year; entertainment clients who travel frequently for key social events like award shows, film festivals, and fashion shows; busy executives who rely on The Prelude to travel for work; and exited entrepreneurs who want to maximize their travel but may not have assistants or the historic infrastructure to help them anymore. 

The Prelude has attracted members of AMEX Centurion who were seeking a more personalized and bespoke service. Members of The Prelude benefit from the company’s ability to book travel in record time, unparalleled access to venues and events through relationships with leading hospitality groups, and perks that originate from Di-Finizio’s personal relationships with leading luxury hotel chains. After one of the members’ commercial flight for a ski-trip was canceled last minute leaving the family stranded at the airport, the Prelude coverage team had a jet ready within 60 minutes of being notified ensuring the members trip would carry on as planned; separately, on short notice, the team secured access for one of its members into the renowned LouLou’s during Couture Paris Fashion week and arranged a range of experiences while in the city. 

The Prelude key domain lies in its ability to support members through dedicated teams and its app where members can request, book on-demand, feedback all in real time. The combination of real-time technology and a 24/7 behind the scenes team will enable it to scale without sacrificing member experience at any given moment. “Having been in this industry for some time and seeing what has worked and not worked, I was adamant that there was a better way by combining technology and people to ensure high-touch service never falters as we scale” explained Stefan Di-Finizio

Looking ahead, The Prelude plans to expand its global presence and further the digital experience they offer to their members, with the ultimate vision of building a lifestyle management company known for providing exceptional service, luxury goods through affiliate partnerships and ultimately ease of mind and access for their members.

Anmol Bhandari, Managing Partner of Turnbull Capital added: “The travel space is fragmented. There are many companies that offer “concierge services”, but they are just booking the things people could have done on their own more efficiently. A concierge service doesn’t stop and start with a virtual booking agent. The Prelude solves this with a tech stack that creates amazing opportunities for users and delivers with the high-bar service level required by busy individuals. It’s an impressive infrastructure and platform that just makes sense and most importantly it works. Their attention to detail on preferences is unlike any other service. They are effectively a combination of a family office infrastructure, executive assistant and chaperone that ensures things work as they should.”

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