Mobile app startups: Firef.ly, YouGoTo, Hinterlands

This is a regular roundup of some of the latest mobile application startup launches in travel covering everything from trip inspiration and planning to virtual assistants.

 

Firef.ly

What is it?

Firef.ly is a location-based mobile app that aims to bring together in one place many of the mobile services travellers already use while on a trip. The app plots where you have been on a map as you go along enabling travellers to keep a journal and acts as a personal guide into destinations including London, Singapore and New York.

 Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

Firef.ly co-founder Shawn Low says:

“It might sound counter intuitive to say this but we found that travellers have a problem with there being too many apps when it comes to travel. You post photos on Instagram, update family and friends on Facebook, search for restaurants/sights on Tripadvisor/Yelp…none of these app know me and make smart recommendations based off my interests and contextual information.

“As an example, if Firef.ly knows that you love Peruvian food and you’re staying in an Airbnb in Shoreditch, London, we will ping you close to lunchtime and recommend you check out Andina for some sublime cerviche. Want something to do after lunch? We know you like street art and will send you to check out the art along Brick Lane. Of course, if it’s raining, we’ll suggest you head to the Tate Modern instead.”

Who’s behind it?

Firef.ly was founded by:

Chad Cribbins, co-founder and chief executive. Cribbins has a background digital agencies as well as startups including Revolution Health and PocketWatch.

John Aby Olival, co-founder and f inancial director. Olival has fund-raising experience and previously worked at Citibank and Vodafone.

Shawn Low, co-founder and editorial and marketing director. Low formerly worked with Lonely Planet and National Geographic.

Andy Bennett, chief technology officer. Bennett has experience in mobile and particularly apps development.

What else?

Firef.ly raised a seed round of US$1.12 million about 18 months ago from crowdfunding platform Seedrs as well as a grant from Innovate UK. The startup also participated in the Microsoft Accelerator.

 

YouGoTo

What is it?

YouGoTo aims to be an app for in-destination services. The plan is for it to offer content based on context and preferences so fans of a particular style of music would be served notifications on local events around their preference. The service will also enable users to book restaurants, tours and activities as well as find local guides and access ground transportation. The plan is to launch first in Madeira and go from there.

Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

Chief executive André Conde says:

“The problem we’re trying to solve is mainly the huge fragmented offer that exists in the tours and activities market. Everyone seems to be interested in T&A these days but we don’t see any differentiation, it seems like everyone focus on selling activities through some sort of e-commerce/marketplace platform.

“We focus on the experience, we focus on the traveller, giving them a platform with several tools (please refer to André’s words) for discovering a destination. We partner directly with local operators and businesses assuring we can get the best prices and pass discounts that online platforms usually don’t do.

“We are in the “during” part of the travelling process.”

In sum, three main problems we’re tackling:

  • Price is an important concern in the current economy.
  • There is no central point of information for a destination.
  • Too much fragmented offer makes the decision making process difficult.

Who’s behind it?

André Conde, founder and chief executive, previously worked at Microsoft and has also been involved in other startups.

Marco Freitas, engineering project manager, has experience in developing technology in the banking sector.

What else?

The company is looking for its first investors. It is also working towards a b2b version of YouGoTo aimed at travel agencies who want to create tours and activities packages for customers.

 

Hinterlands

What is it?

Hinterlands is a curated set of adventure tours to help users discover their ideal activity. The app enables travellers to filter by criteria such as destination and adventure type and see what is available and at what price during specific dates. The service also enables users to chat to a consultant, make bookings and pay tour guides.

Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

A spokesperson says:

“Hinterlands solves the problem of endless searches online and in guide books in an effort to find the right tour provider.  It’s apparent that travelers, especially millennials, are interested in unique, authentic experiences that will make their vacations memorable.  No one wants to book what seems like a secluded wilderness outing, only to find that they’re one of 20 tourists getting an experience that isn’t as advertised.  Hinterlands does all the work in vetting and simplifies the booking process.”

Who’s behind it?

Andrew Myerson, chief executive, has a background in finance and previously founded Haymakers for Hope, a not for profit startup.

What else?

The startup has received funding from early-stage technology investment company Accomplice.

NB: Mobile apps image via iqoncept for Big Stock Photo

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone
 
 

About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda Fox is managing editor for Tnooz. For the past decade years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.

In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.

Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.

 

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No one has commented yet. be the first!

 
 

Newsletter Subscription

Please subscribe now to Tnooz’s FREE daily newsletter.

This lively package of news and information from Tnooz’s web site provides a convenient digest of what’s happening in technology that drives the global travel, tourism and hospitality market.

  • Cancel