India-based holiday package portal WeAreHolidays, which was created by a number of MakeMyTrip alumni, has raised its first round of funding.
The investment was led by Mumbai Angels with participation from Blume Venture Capital, Sachin Bhatia (co-founder, MakeMyTrip) and GSF Superangels.
The exact amount raised in the round has not been disclosed.
WeAreHolidays is working on a platform that uses artificial intelligence to recommend holidays for a traveller.
The company has been bootstrapped since March 2011 and it is founded by Deepak Wadhwa (former head of online holidays for MakeMyTrip) Harkirat Singh (former-product manager for domestic flights also at MakeMyTrip) and Mohit Piplani (who helped set up the India operations for Michael Page International).
They are joined by Prashant Ghildiyal, a former entrepreneur who earlier co-founded OmSakshar Technologies and CricketWeekly.in and a expert in areas of machine learning, artificial intelligence and algorithms.
Wadhwa, who acts as CEO for the company, says:
"The money raised will be used for product development, holiday content and back-end integrations. We’ve spent the major part of our professional lives in close contact with the Indian leisure traveller and feel excited at the numerous possibilities to solve some widespread pain points faced by the consumer.
"We strongly feel technology can play a critical role to transform how travellers research, plan and buy their holidays.
"We’ve been bootstrapping for over 2 years now by planning and selling customized holidays while focusing relentlessly on developing the recommender platform and curate original content. To better position ourselves more closely with holiday planning, we’re unveiling a new version of our site very soon."
In India, packages are starting to gain momentum with companies like MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Goibibo (part of the group that recently acquired redBus), Polama, HolidayIQ, LifeIsOutside selling fixed-itinerary holiday packages online.
However, India-based companies like Mygola, Traverik and TripTern have platforms that will allow travellers to dynamically create holiday itineraries, and MustSeeIndia allows users to create and book dynamic packages online.