Ex-AffiliateFuture boss launches Squeeze Holidays

Dotcom incubator Neutron Ventures has launched squeezeholidays.com with chairman Maz Darvish confident that it can take a significant market share within the next twelve months.

Darvish, who  is chairman of both the site and its backers, told Travolution that there was gap in the OTA sector which could be filled by a site able to offer a full range of services.

“We think that there is room in the market to improve on all aspects of what the established OTAs are doing,” he said. 

SqueezeHolidays has launched with a range of beach accommodation sourced from “one of the well-known bedbanks”.

In the start-up phase it will not contract beds directly, but Darvish said he would be surprised if it wasn’t doing so within a year. It also plans to introduce a full suite of travel products.

It has joined Freedom Travel Group in order to have access to its ATOL. “When we launch our dynamic packaging channel, it will be fully bonded.”

The site will be powered by a mix of third party and in-house technology. “We will use existing products to avoid reinventing the wheel, but bespoke technology can be a major differentiator,” he said.

All online marketing channels will be used to build the brand. “The team is experienced in this field, and we have a very strong idea of how to get distribution at a reasonable cost per acquisition.”

Darvish’s CV includes being one of the founders of Internet Business Group, an umbrella organisation which ran affiliate network AffiliateFuture, Henoo.com and cheapholidaydeals.co.uk, which it bought from Cheapflights.

He set up Neutron Ventures after selling the IBG to TMN in a shares-only deal valuing the then AIM-listed company at just under £10 million.

SqueezeHolidays commercial director is Laurence Woodhams, who has worked with Farebase and set up ClickWith Technology. He has a minority stake in the business.

“We are convinced that there is a huge opportunity,” Darvish said. ” The big online travel agencies are as much ‘legacy’ businesses as the vertically integrated tour operators were ten years ago.”

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