Toronto – Istanbul for $50? Toronto to San Francisco for under $100? Toronto-based startup Yore Oyster that launched this week wants to change how you fly.
Founded by Jordan Bishop, a 22-year-old Torontonian whose mystery Tilt crowdfunding project made headlines recently, Yore Oyster aims to give you insider information on flying around the world for tens of dollars.
“I want to help people travel,” Jordan Bishop, founder of Yore Oyser told BetaKit. “My business is about taking the information from the hands of very few people and spreading that information to the rest of the world. This is a serious endeavour, and I certainly plan to help as many people as I can to get these flights, so we can all fly at ridiculously low prices.”
Bishop became interested in travel after planning his Southeast Asia trip and researching the “delights of airline industry.” He noticed that a handful of insiders armed with the industry know-how all seemed to fly around the world cheaply, and thought air travel industry was ripe for disruption.
The startup made waves on social media and in the news weeks before the launch, and rolled out the door with over 500 signups. Yet many people saw Yore Oyster’s guide into air travel, their big reveal of the week, as a letdown. To the cynics among us, Bishop’s startup looks like some sort of elaborate PR campaign for AMEX and Aeroplan. There’s a new credit card they suggest people open, tips on how to accumulate points, and a breakdown of how fares work on various airlines. There’s also little doubt that Yore Oyster threw hundreds of people on the internet into a frenzy, with this business built on an idea of flying around the world for next to nothing.
Is the premise too good to be true? Can Yore Oyster hurt the industry? Afterall, it certainly costs airlines way more than $50 to fly people from Toronto to Istanbul. Bishop told BetaKit that Yore Oyster would help the industry evolve. “Every industry goes through disruption, and scepticism is a normal part of innovation. I believe the industry will have to adapt and move ahead.”
While Yore Oyster seems like a sort of potato salad startup, in the startup world of YO raising $1.5M in fudning at a $10M valuation, it’s hard to tell who’s joking. Bishop who is bootstrapping Yore Oytser has successfully crowdfunded a product before telling people what it is, just this summer. Maybe the joke is on us.
We got a telephone call from Istanbul. Never trust a man in a blue trench coat.