In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and innovators working on our next generation of new business startups, social enterprises and small businesses.

At a glance

Founders: Letitia Stevenson & James Donald

Business: Yonder HQ

Founded: 2018

HQ: Taranaki

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

For many tourism operators, their product/experience is amazing but it’s the time, cost and effort required to sell and market their product/experience that is their biggest headache.

Yonder HQ is a SaaS product specifically for the tourism industry solving their underlying sales and marketing problems by automating processes that save the operator time and generate revenue.

Yonder builds tourism specific AI chatbots answering, on average, up to 85% of customer inquiries, saving hours of staff time and significantly increasing website conversion rates. Operators such as AJ Hackett and Hobbiton Movie Set use Yonder chatbots to enhance their customer experience, delivering immediate customer service and driving sales 24/7.

Keeping all customer data in one place streamlines operational processes and helps gain deeper insights into customer data. Within the Yonder dashboard, tourism operators automate the request and gathering of customer feedback surveys and online reviews. These are used to increase social proof, leading to more sales, as well as informing business improvements and new developments. Yonder’s unique survey and review request design sees up to 50% completion rates and a 100% uplift in the number of google reviews an operator receives.

Yonder works with medium to enterprise size tourism operators worldwide and has a sales team based in New Zealand and in the US. They are focused on helping tourism operators work smarter and not harder to grow their business.

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

Yonder HQ emerged from another startup that both founders started, an online travel agent (OTA). While working with tourism operators the founders got to understand the problems that tourism operators faced and decided that the operators really needed technology that allowed them to work smarter but not harder.

What programmes, learning or mentoring have been of assistance so far?

We have been through two accelerator sales programs that have given us a great foundation for understanding SaaS sales. These with support from mentors, also in the SaaS space, have been invaluable. Finding someone who understands your niche SaaS industry is key.


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