Sarah Hilmy: Inspiring friends and families to discover the world together

“Holidays are a way for you to enrich your own life. It's about going out and experiencing things that you otherwise wouldn't experience in your everyday life, trying new food, meeting new people, and just learning more about the world in a first-hand way.” —Sarah Hilmy, co-founder of travel platform Oddysee.



Ryan Thoo

Ryan Thoo is the marketing lead for Southeast Asia. He manages Antler's brand and marketing performance in the region as well as coach founders in early-stage growth and GTM. Former Marketing Director and Web3 Strategy Lead at PropertyGuru Group, where he drove high-growth demand generation and value creation for the organisation and took them from Series B to market leadership and IPO. During that journey, Ryan contributed towards scaling up their Marketplaces business across SEA, starting up a new FinTech unit, and driving Web3 innovation for PropTech.

Ryan is VP of Marketing at Antler in Southeast Asia and former Marketing Director at PropertyGuru Group. Based in Singapore, he is always on the hunt for the best pizzas in town.

Despite rising costs, consumers are not only spending more on travel than any other experience, many are also increasing their personal travel budgets in 2023, unwilling to cut back in the face of inflation. Travel is a much-needed tonic—a way for people to escape and unplug from the anxieties and uncertainties of everyday life.

Travel and hospitality sales and marketing expert Sarah Hilmy views travel as something crucial: building blocks to personal growth and wellness.  

“I find that holidays are one of the most important experiences of your year and your life in general, because it's a chance for you to reset, connect with yourself, as well as reconnect with your loved ones away from the hectic lives that we all need,” Sarah says.

Growing up in an entrepreneurial family in the Maldives and spending 10 years living in the UK before returning to Asia, in 2022 Sarah founded Oddysee with Max Martin during Antler’s residency in Singapore with the vision of helping everyone book the perfect holiday.

“We wanted to create an app that would actually allow you to book and plan your holiday with friends in just five minutes,” Sarah explains. That means removing the pain and hassle of coordinating a group holiday, ensuring plans don’t collapse because of the logistics.

“When you're traveling with friends, there's often so much that you need to coordinate on,” she explains.  “What dates work for everyone? What can everyone afford? What does everyone want to do? Usually planning takes so much time and effort that so many holidays just fall apart.”

Oddysee is initially focused on providing excellent planning tools before it expands to features such as hotel bookings and experiences directly on the app. Initial tools include a collaborative itinerary so everyone knows exactly what they're doing on holiday, an expense tracker so everyone knows how much they owe each other for trip expenses, and a map to find interesting activities and hotels in the area.

Sarah’s founder journey has been inspired and shaped by her father and uncle setting up their business in hotels and resorts three decades ago.

“Just watching my family build their business over the years has made entrepreneurship feel more accessible,” she says. “In some ways, it doesn't feel as daunting or scary. It doesn't feel like an impossible dream. And in many ways, watching my family has inspired me to take up my own startup journey.”

The material impact Oddysee is having on people’s lives fuels Sarah as a founder.

“What really motivates me is the ability to build something from scratch, from a completely blank slate, and to actually put it out into the world…It's about watching customers engage with it and knowing that you've had an impact on their lives because of something that you've created.”

While the app has strong resonance with adventure-seeking Gen Zs and millennials who love traveling with friends, the company’s goal is to become the most effortless travel planning organization and booking platform for every type of customer.

“We want our customers—no matter what sort of holiday that they're planning—to always reach for Odyssey to make their trip happen. No matter what.”

Learn more about Oddysee, a travel app that helps groups of friends collaboratively plan, organize, and book holidays together.

Learn more about Antler’s partnership with Microsoft for Startups to support women founders everywhere.

Read Antler’s second annual ESG and Impact Report to learn how VC firms can build diverse teams and create sustainable value from the outset. 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news and views from Antler’s global community

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Must-read articles from Antler

Browse our collection of founder stories, industry insights and latest startup successes from Antler Australia

See articles
5 min read
A window into progress: A look inside the world's day zero investor

As we approach the fifth anniversary of our first investments, we are excited to share A Window into Progress, a report that captures the breadth, depth, and impact of Antler’s global community, which continues to grow and strengthen through the downturn.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Carl Prins: The financier on a mission to decarbonize the global economy

Our content series "It All Starts with People" delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Read the story of Carl Prins and his personal quest to help avert the climate crisis through Pathzero.

5 min read
Books every founder should read in 2023

Harry Truman once said: “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” The source of myriad mental and physical benefits, it’s no wonder highly successful entrepreneurs and business leaders frequently credit obsessive reading as instrumental to their outperformance. In honor of UNESCO World Book Day, Antler is excited to share books every founder should read in 2023.

5 min read
50 creators to watch in 2023

As the creator economy continues to grow, expand, and evolve, we've curated a list of 50 exciting leaders to watch in this space. Influencers. Journalists. Operators at prominent creator-related platforms. Founders. These are the players—seen and unseen—who underpin the global creator ecosystem.

Founder Stories
5 min read
Sharon Li & Vanessa Chen: Empowering employees to be their healthiest and most productive selves

“People sometimes think the emotional and professional are conflicting, but what we believe is when people love their organization, the emotional value will actually make them productive. It will make them give their full self to the organization and make the organization grow for the long term.” —Sharon Li, co-founder and CEO of CHOYS

5 min read
The 2023 Creator Economy: A new direction

Our creator economy insights series—starting with our ultimate guide to the creator economy in May 2021—has tracked the explosion of a sector that upended the professional aspirations of the next generation. Today, as uncertainty and macroeconomic challenges pervade, how are creators pivoting and what does it mean for the sector's future?

Founder Stories
5 min read
Piet Hein van Dam: The seasoned data entrepreneur aiming to eradicate type 2 diabetes

Our content series "It All Starts with People" delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Bringing a clarity of vision to our latest spotlight is Piet Hein van Dam, co-founder of Clear, the award-winning digital self-help tool for diabetes patients.

5 min read
Unpacking the $80+ billion ONDC opportunity: India’s next startup catalyst

India's approach to unbundle payments made the world look up and take notice. Now it's time to disrupt commerce with the Open Network for Digital Commerce or ONDC. In our latest Theory of Next deep dive we mapped, researched, and reached out to every network participant live on ONDC right now.

And we're excited to share with you a comprehensive what could be India's next unicorn catalyst with inputs from Vibhor Jain (COO of ONDC), Sujith Nair (Founding member of Beckn Protocol), and founders building on ONDC!

Co-authored by Nitin Sharma (Partner, Antler) and Gokul Kumaravelu.