TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring US-based DealAngel, a new hotel search engine which pricing data to rank properties by value rather than price.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
Co-founder Roman Peskin is a former cluster revenue manager and the other co-founder, Bob Rogers, was previously a director at Expedia. Basically between the two of us we know pretty well all tricks the hotels and booking sites have up their sleeves.
About a year ago we decided to take the analytics developed for our B2B app and put this power into the end consumersâ€™ hands.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
We received seed funding from Foresight Ventures.
What problem are you trying to solve?
The first problem we want to solve is the “deal fatigue” consumers feel from spending loads of time searching through reams of offers when they just want to book a hotel.
Secondly, DealAngel also aims to provide peace of mind by backing up the deals we have identified with supporting data.
While other sites just list the present market prices for each hotel, DealAngel uses analytics to determine the fair market value for each hotel on each future arrival day.
The greater the difference between the actual rate and the expected rate, the bigger the deal (or rip-off)
Describe the business, core products and services?
DealAngel is the first hotel deal FIND engine. We help consumers beat the system by finding the hotels that are pricing below their fair market value.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Our key customers are travellers who are looking for hotel offers with the best value-for-money.
Itâ€™s especially useful for people who are looking for a quality hotel at a great value in destinations where there are many competing hotels, such as Las Vegas, New York, Miami, or San Francisco.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
We spent several months in private beta, evolving the site based on real user feedback. We had several of the few hundred beta testers book hotels, and their feedback was integrated into the present product.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
We donâ€™t charge any booking fee; we generate revenue through a referral fee from the hotels and booking sites. We partner with more than 30 providers, including the best-known online travel agencies.
SWOT analysis â€“ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Our ability to determine what a hotel should be charging on any given day. This addresses the biggest challenge with hotels: there is no ticket price for a hotel room; the rate is ultimately determined by supply and demand.
- We are entering an already crowded space.
- Expansion of DealAngel into additional geographies, mobile, and adding additional consumer-centric functionalities (stay tuned).
- Primarily from Google trying to pimp-out their hotel search tools with analytics. But Google has enough on its plate at the moment.
Who advised you your idea isn’t going to be successful and why didn’t you listen to them?
Several people pointed out the “crowded space” issue, and how much you need to spend to get any traction in travel and hotels.
We didnâ€™t listen because cutting through all this noise and providing some objectivity is precisely what the consumer needs the most these days.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
A rapidly growing customer base, a group of raving fans, and expansion into Europe & Asia.