Meet the brains and backbone behind Pelikin, our CEO and founder Sam Brown!

So, who is Sam?

I’m 31 and originally from Perth (I’m probably a Victorian now..Don’t tell my mum!) I love to travel (hence the whole founding travel startup thing). I’m an average amateur footy player (shout out to the Richmond Snakes). I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and young people trying to do disruptive things. I’m getting married in October to an incredible New Zealander (our kids WILL be Wallabies fans). I’m a huge Wim Hof fan and love getting in the cold. I once met 50-Cent at Sydney Airport

Where was your last trip before this Covid madness?

I snuck off to Byron for a weekend away just a few days before ScoMo announced the first lockdowns, but if we’re talking overseas travels then I went to New Zealand for Christmas and New Years in 2019 and it was phenomenal. I spent a week off the grid in Lake Taupo with my partner’s family before heading down to Queenstown to stand next to one of my best friends as he got married. Super grateful that we were able to do that before the true impacts of Covid-19 set in.

Refresh our memory, what inspired you to create Pelikin.

Like most 20-something year olds, I would work hard, save my money and head off overseas to explore and experience everything that the world has to offer. Usually travelling with friends, we were all conscious of our money, how much we had on us, how much we’d spent and how much we had left.

Money is everything for young travellers, yet the products available for them to use just weren’t up to scratch. I guess the ‘ah ha’ moment was when my travel card suddenly froze my card and account without a moment’s notice after I bought a cheeseburger at a McDonalds in Rome. Apparently they felt it was a suspicious transaction and it took about 4 days and hours on the phone to finally regain access to my money. All of my money was on that travel card, so I was forced to rely on friends and even call my parents back home to get by. It was awkward, stressful and to be honest just a really sh*t experience. 

So long story short, I thought there had to be a better way for young people to interact with their money while they’re planning their travel and spending their money abroad…Now, here we are today.

How did you find 2020?

Personally it was fine, lockdown was obviously not ideal but I was crazy busy with work and got to spend a lot of time with my partner Fi and our groodle puppy, Bear. We launched to the public in December 2019 and so it was a bummer when we had to ‘un-launch’ in April 2020 as international travel grinded to a halt. But being able to still work with our amazing Pelikin team each day throughout the year to release new products , forge new partnerships and pave our path out of the pandemic was really REALLY inspiring and kept me laser focused on our mission. What we achieved last year is truly remarkable and we can’t wait to start sharing things with everyone!

Lots of exciting stuff in the works then?

Yep, heaps!

Been anywhere in Aus lately?

Perth in October last year ( endured 2 weeks of home quarantine for a good friends wedding). Rye and Ocean Grove over Christmas with some friends, but that’s it….desperate to explore the country more later in the year if I can make the time.

Top 3 places abroad you’re itching to get to?

Lake Taupo in NZ is my happy place so that’s #1. Italy – I’ve been twice but there is so much to do and see there! Mexico – I’ve never been and it’s always been on the bucket list.

Thanks for the chat Sam, fingers crossed for that NZ trip and like you, we can’t wait to share allll the epic upcoming news.


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