Drew Patterson launched Jetsetter in 2009 with an investment of $1 million that he took from Gilt Groupe. It is a members only travel site that has changed the way people discover, book and afford luxury vacation and travel. Patterson has a background of ten years in the travel industry. He has worked for Starwood Hotels and the travel site Kayak. He is always thinking about how to leverage technology to make the perfect travel decisions. The first instinct of the consumer is to look for value, regardless of recession. He believes that the traveler wants an authentic personal connection and not just the prestige of a label.
Jetsetter is part of the Gilt Groupes extended family but is operated as a separate company with its own staff and board. The company has established itself well enough in just two years and in January this year Jetsetter 24×7 was launched to sell full price retail packages. It was a first for any of the Gilt Groupe business. The surprising part is that in just three quarters the full price segment has grown rapidly to contribute 25% of the total business. Encouraged by the response, Patterson has diversified into the offline segment with the launch of Personal Travel Planning in June. It is already outperforming leading U.S. travel agency Virtuoso according to the Wall Street Journal.
The company has an in house team of 18 people and each of them enjoy a rapport with experienced writers who are out traveling the world for a living. They provide, first hand , the accounts of places and destinations that are recommended. The web is flooded with consumer reviews and that makes the Jetsetter service even more relevant. Patterson finds the application of flash sales format to travel products very interesting. The venture is not profitable as yet but is growing fast and moving towards it.