Anti screen-scraping technology Data Portcullis was chosen as the winning start-up at this year’s Travel Technology Europe trade show.
The software has been developed by Darran Thomas, an expert forensic witness that Ryanair has used when attempting to prosecute screen-scrapers.
He will give evidence in Dublin court later this year when the Irish carrier brings a landmark case against either Budget Travel or On The Beach, after successfully winning a ruling that the Irish court has jurisdiction.
If the judgement goes in Ryanair’s favour there will be serious implications for the dynamic packaging sector that relies heavily on Ryanair flights, as well as other low cost carriers to create their holidays.
However, Thomas said it will have wider implications for sectors selling tickets for travel or events, as the Irish court’s verdict will apply across the EU.
Thomas said that 25% of Ryanair’s 15 million daily website hits come from screen-scrapers, which account for 15% of all of its sales.
His technology is much more sophisticated than existing techniques that just monitor IP addresses to combat screen-scrapers, it applies 40 tests on connections made to the website in real time. The website owner can set the test parameters to set how high the bar is below which any connection is rejected.
Data Portcullis can be implemented with a single line of code, being cloud based it can scale to monitor every single connection a website receives.
Thomas said he has pitched the product to Ryanair on February 11 and has been in talks with easyJet. The start-up competition was run at TTE as part of its new Disrupt stream and judges decided that of the nine companies that presented, Data Portcullis was most likely to make an impact on the market.
The judging panel consisted of Tom Day of London & Partners, Toby Tait of Gatwick Airport, Matt Zito of Travel Startups Incubator and Travolution editor Lee Hayhurst.
The runners up were hotel website and booking platform Upgrade Digital and group booking and payments specialist PaybyGroup.
Data Portcullis won free mentoring and a stand at next year’s TTE show.