Mapping technologies are one of the internet's most useful contributions to the sum of human knowledge.
In an online travel context, maps are part of the decision-making process. Business travellers need to know how to get from their hotel to a meeting; leisure travellers need to know where their hotel is in relation to the attractions and activities planned.
Avuxi believes that maps could have a bigger role to play in helping suppliers increase conversion rates and revenues. So it has developed a portfolio of products which, it believes, takes mapping to the next level and which can be integrated into booking flow.
Before the Q&A, here's a one-minute video pitch to introduce the concept.
What problem does your business solve?
There’s two top criteria for users when picking a hotel or apartment: the price-quality ratio and location.
While the price-quality ratio has become more transparent, thanks in part to price comparison sites, better quality photos and reviews, the location insights provided by OTAs at the time of booking seem to have been stuck in the 1990s.
To solve this problem, we recently launched TopPlace, a plug and play product suite with worldwide location popularity scores that greatly improves the online booking process with one easy integration.
Instead of opening numerous different sites to find and learn about the most suitable locations in unfamiliar cities, location insights will now be easily accessible in the booking sites.
Essentially, TopPlace is the accumulated collective knowledge of millions of locals and travelers worldwide, provided instantly during the booking decision process.
At its core our platform analyses, cross-references, categorizes and ranks Geo Big Data from over 60 sources and millions of users. This enables travelers to make faster and better decisions regarding the location of their stay at the time of making a hotel (or apartment) booking.
TopPlace has proven to increase average booking value, conversions and quality click through rate.
Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?
Alexis Batlle – CEO
Roberto Abril – CTO
and three full time employees.
Initially funded by the founders, we’ve also received some early stage funding from accelerator programs, angel investors and also won some R&D grants, totalling the funding to date at € 510K
Currently we have a very simple revenue model: 1 cent per unique daily user. No cumbersome counting of API calls, map loads etc.
Why do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?
Our products solve the location insights needs of OTAs and metasearch sites. We help them keep the traffic on their sites, while increasing conversions and booking value.
One of our products, the Location Score Elements is quite unique, as it can provide a detailed location score along with a brief description and nearby top venues and points of interest for every hotel and apartment on the planet. Even for fresh, new listings.
We vave been selected and had the pleasure to be part of Startupbootcamp Berlin, Wayra (Telefónica’s accelerator), SAP Startup Focus, ESRI Startup Program, FIWARE Accelerate and ODINE.
Our products are already being used by KAYAK, Only-Apartments and HOTUSA, with several other well known travel companies that are currently in trial period.
The fact that maps are featured prominently within most hotel search results (or are at least an option) means that Avuxi is working in a familiar part of the online travel market - "we can help you raise conversion rates by making your maps better" is a fairly straightforward proposition.
Its ability to generate heatmaps ( as shown in the video above) showing where the hotel is located in relation to specific activities is a visually compelling way to engage with the OTAs or metas users. It also crosses over into the "live like a local" zeitgeist, with a hotel's location becoming increasingly important for many travellers.
Having Kayak as a client is pretty strong validation that its technical and commercial credentials.
The hot topics in the digital hospitality sector - metas versus OTAs, indirect versus direct, facilitated booking, even chatbots - exist because there is still enough money on the table for intermediaries, third parties, in-house and external tech and IT providers to have a valid role in the overall ecosystem.
And while there is money on the table, anyone selling hotels (or renting out apartments) will be interested in partnering with businesses which can help them secure more of that money. Avuxi is, appropriately, well-placed to take advantage of this.