Travel start-up Triptease has closed a seed investment round worth $2 million, with joint participation from venture capital firms, Episode 1 Ventures and Notion Capital.
Triptease was founded in 2013 after co-founder, Charlie Osmond, felt his trip had been marred by the painful planning process.
Osmond said: “The average person visits 38 websites searching through online opinions and the best rates. For half of us, an experience that starts out full of excitement ends up with feelings of doubt over making the right choice and getting the best price.”
Osmond and his team spent three months interviewing travellers and hotel staff. They found that many tactics such as fluctuating and disappearing rates used by third parties create angst and uncertainty when booking.
Triptease developed a range of digital tools to improve the relationship between hotels and guests. With partners including Trump Soho, Rosewood Hotels and the Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, the new round of funding will be used to advance product development and to expand sales and marketing.
Osmond added: “Some hoteliers we spoke to actively upgrade direct bookers to thank them for not using a third party – hardly surprising given the millions of dollars they now have to spend on commissions for other bookers. It’s a total win-win.”
The company recently launched Price Check, a smart widget that sits on hotel websites and displays prices from across the web in real-time. It reduces uncertainty surrounding a hotel’s direct price, saving consumers research time and giving them the confidence to book direct.
Beta tests showed direct bookings jump 60%, the company is now focussed on rolling it out to more hotels worldwide.