Greece’s Emerging Travel Start-ups: Part 2
Last week, I spoke about the ever growing ecosystem of technology startups on the rise in Greece (mostly Athens). Here are four travel search engines emerging from Greece to add to the mix.
Travelmyth (www.travelmyth.com) is a travel recommendation engine for those who are not sure where they want to go or where they want to stay. It uses technology to collect data from the web about tens of thousands of destinations, hotels and holidays and then uses algorithms to rank them and build its recommendations according to the users' interests. Travelmyth is privately funded by its founders and will launch a private beta just in time for the World Travel Market in November 2013 in London.
TripTao (www.triptao.com) is a hotel search engine that aims to reduce the time needed to find accommodation from hours to minutes. Most people spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours when looking for a hotel; TripTao wishes to reduce that time to only a few minutes, using advanced mathematical algorithms and an interface geared towards supporting the decision process. The current, self-funded, version of TripTao is using the hotel inventory of Booking.com (350.000 hotels worldwide), to get quick ideal hotel matches for travellers. Future plans include significant additions such as personalisation and flight search; which will require external funding.
If you are looking for a romantic holiday for two but do not know where to go, Captainwise (ex- Periploos.com) has the answer. Captainwise (www.captainwise.com) takes a similar approach to Priceline, in asking the traveller to set a budget for his trip. But this is where all similarities end, because Captainwise creates from scratch a complete travel package consisting of accommodation and flights by searching all the available options from its data providers, currently booking.com and travelplanet24.com. It then presents the results to the traveller and allows the holiday-goer to further tailor his travel options. The new revamped service will be launched in early November. Captainwise was funded by its founders, but are in negotiations with potential investors and might have some good news very soon.
Vervendos' (www.vervendo.com) business model is based on the reverse auction principals with the versatility of enabling the Hotels to give exclusive offers and match personalised requests. Based on the island of Crete, it has already enlisted 50 hotels with 3,000 beds on its platform within the first month of operation. It intends to cover the whole of the Greek market for the start of the 2014 summer season. It is currently self-funded by its experienced founding team.
As you can see there are plenty of talented Greek entrepreneurs finding innovative solutions to travel industry problems. The good news for these startups is that by operating in such an adverse environment, they have become very lean and mean. Operating in a country with such emphasis on tourism has helped them get traction, users and clients more quickly; as well as be ready to expand abroad as most of them have started doing.