David Ambrose, managing director of Steadfast Venture Capital, spoke today at the Skift Global Forum.

Steadfast Venture Capital, an early stage investment firm based in New York City, focuses on travel and local.

Ambrose previously led Travelzoo’s global mobile and social business. In 2008, Ambrose founded Scoop St., a local commerce company that was acquired by BuyWithMe in 2011.

Here are five things we learned:

  • “The consumer travel hoursglass is crowded,” Ambrose said, referring to the inspiration stage of travel research, which is characterized by low repeat usage among consumers and an unattractive lifetime customer value.
  • Most value in travel “is largely around booking. There is an incredible value in actually owning the transaction.”
  • It is “really hard” for travel startups to build scale at both ends, including inspiration and in-destination activities, of the travel cycle.
  • “I think there is more value to extract in the local economy and we are starting to see that,” Ambrose said, referring to TripAdvisor, for example, and its restaurant reservations business, Lafourchette.
  • “For us [Steadfast Venture Capital] the back end is really the emerging opportunity,” Ambrose said, referring to travel business infrastructure and technology. “One reason it is exciting is that it is not crowded, not noisy” and requires a lot of heavy lifting.

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Photo Credit: David Ambrose, managing director of Steadfast Venture Capital, spoke today at the Skift Global Forum. Skift