STARTUPS – Product news, launches and more – July 2013
The latest startups news, launches and more from around the travel, tourism and hospitality industry in July 2013.
Wednesday 31 July 2013:
- Clear has signed a deal with Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport to roll out their expedited screening process. This will bring the number of enabled airports to 5, with facilities opening in San Antonio in August. Houston should roll out later this year.
Monday 29 July 2013:
- refund.me has reduced their commission from 25% to 15% when a user’s claim (due to flight cancellation, delay etc) is processed successfully. The company launched their India operation last week.
Wednesday 24 July 2013:
- Rocketmiles, a B2C booking site that awards frequent flier miles on nine airlines for hotel stays, is expanding to include international destinations such as Paris, London, and Tokyo, as well as new international airline partners, including Etihad Guest. The consumer site launched in the spring with 15 cities, and now has more than 100.
- Parking Panda, the web marketplace and management platform for car parking service has launched its service in Houston and Dallas. This launch marks the presence of Parking Panda in more than 25 cities in the US. Recently, the company raised $4.7 million via share sale to investors.
Tuesday 23 July 2013:
- Online tour guide aggregator Any Road has won the Startup Idol competition at Fortune’s annual BrainTech conference in Aspen, Colorado. Judged by Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Jeff Richards (GGV Capital), Danae Ringelmann (IndieGoGo) and Casey Wasserman (Wasserman Media Group), the company wins some choice Herman Miller furniture and, of course, “plenty of attention from investors,” says co-founder Daniel Yaffe. Click here to view the video of the presentation, judges’ feedback and winner announcement.
Monday 22 July 2013:
- refund.me (TLabs here), a service for airline passengers to claims their compensation (due to delay, cancellations, missed connection etc) has launched its service in India. Based on the more than 3700 connections between Mumbai and London last year, refund.me estimates that affected passengers could have claimed for nearly Euro 5 million (approx. Rs.39 crore).
Thursday 18 July 2013:
- A new startup called Vamo has emerged from stealth to raise $1.6 million from investors as diverse as Dave Morin, Bono and Sam Shank. Founded by former Facebooker Ari Steinberg, the company promises to help “people have richer travel experiences. They have a limited amount of time off and want to make the most of it. We want to give you all the joys you can get from travel.”
- Robert Wiseman, CTO of Sabre has joined as an Advisor for Rezopia, the SaaS-based travel reservation platform. Rezopia was awarded the ‘Worlds Leading Dynamic Packaging Provider’ title in WTM 2012.
Wednesday 17 July 2013:
- Tours and activities aggregator Peek has expanded its coverage internationally for the first time, offering tours and activities in London and Paris.
Monday 15 July 2013:
- Local recommendations provider Localeur has inked a deal with Google. The service’s recommendations will now be featured in Google’s FieldTrip mobile app alongside content providers such as Zagat, Eater, Thrillist Food Network and many others.
- Triip.me, Vietnam-based startup (TLabs here) that connects travellers with locals, has launched Wiki Triip, an iPhone app based offline travel guide that’s built on top of Wikivoyage. Its interesting to see companies launching non-core products.
Thursday 4 July 2013:
- FindMyBeach rebrands and relaunches as BeachRoomz with a focus on vacation rentals. The company, which launched originally in May 2011 (TLabs here), collects listings for beach-based properties from sites such as Villarenters, OwnersDirect, HomeAway and HouseTrip and directs users to contact information with the owner or hosting service.
Wednesday 3 July 2013:
- CloudArena has raised a $1.5 million funding round led by Aslanoba Capital with help from 212 Capital Partners. Tnooz spotlighted one of its products, HotelRunner, last month. In 2013, the company says it worked with 1,250 properties in more than 30 countries with its online sales and digital marketing management tools.
Tuesday 2 July 2013:
- BackBid enters corporate marketplace with new Travel Manager service. The service from the US-based startup [TLabs here] allows companies to receive competing hotel bids and book discounted rooms on behalf of their travelling employees. One of the first customers is computer security specialist Accuvant.
- STARTUPS – Product news, launches and more – June 2013
- STARTUPS – Product news, launches and more – May 2013
NB: Startup image via Shutterstock.
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