Sygic, a maker of mobile navigation apps, took a 51% equity stake in Tripomatic, a Czech Republic-based startup that helps travelers create and book custom itineraries for an undisclosed sum.
Sygic, a Bratislava-based navigation company with 130 employees, touts that its GPS navigation mobile apps have more than 125 million users. The company wants to expand the services it offers to customers who are mid-journey and in-destination.
The Tripomatic name has been replaced with Sygic Travel on the trip-planning mobile app for iOS and Android. The Brno-based husband-and-wife team that own the rest of the company will not join Sygic's team.
In a few weeks' time, Sygic Travel will release an app with immersive 360-videos that can be seen using a VR headset on Oculus Rift, to be followed by one for Samsung's VR devices.
While these 360 videos will not be added directly to the planner website or app at first, the company expects to add the 360-video and VR content to all places it can, Tripomatic cofounder Barbora Nevosadova told Tnooz.
The goal will be to connect the virtual reality inspirational videos with the ability to plan and book a trip within the app.
Tnooz first profiled Triomatic five years ago. The number of similar startups that have attempted to build businesses luring businesses at the inspiration stage has been winnowed in recent years due to headwinds.
Yet legacy travel companies continue to show interest in experiments at converting users who are still in the inspiration phase.
In February, Amadeus Next, an incubator-style division focused on nurturing startups in Asia-Pacific, has enlisted TripHobo to its portfolio of new businesses. Around the same time, Google incorporated inspirational tools into its basic flight search.