Eddy Travels, an AI-based travel assistant bot closed a pre-seeding funding of about $500,000 led by Techstars. Other investors who participated in this funding session were Practica Capital and Open Circle Capital VC funds from Lithuania, and angel investors from U.S, U.K., and Canada.
The Toronto-based AI tech startup was launched back in November 2018 by Edmundas Balčikonis (earlier CEO of TrackDuck, which was later acquired by Invision), Pranas Kiziela, and Adomas Baltagalvis.
The team realized that planning a trip demanded users to go through dozens of websites and mobile apps, compare the information, and look for suitable deals. All the while, these platforms offered them little to no personalization, making the entire experience unpleasant.
So, to cut down their efforts and provide a seamless experience, Eddy Travels introduced an AI-powered personalized advisor bot.
Available on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, Rakuten, Slack, and Line, the bot delivers a personalized traveling experience in real-time. It enables users to type the company’s name in the search bar of the Messenger and wait for a yellow hat representing brands to start a conversation. It also encourages them to send a voice message to get personalized suggestions related to best flights, hotels, and other services.
The chatbot uses NLP (Natural Language Processing) system – one of the top technology trends for 2020 – to bring together all the booking needs of the users on a single platform, analyze the information and recommend personalized activities.
“This bot is more personal, and would provide a customized trip-planning experience,” said Edmundas Balčikonis, CEO of Eddy Travels.
Because of this functionality, the bot is used by more than 100,000 users worldwide. Also, it is being considered for making around 40,000 flight searches per month. A value that seems much smaller when compared to popular travel portals like Airbnb, but is quite significant for a bot.
And now, when the brand has closed a pre-seed funding with a motive to expand their services into accommodation, car rental, and other travel-related services, these numbers are expected to rise.
In fact, the future of travel sales is anticipated to grow upto $817B by 2020. And with the news of funding rounds like these, it only gets validated how technology, in the face of travel app development, will play a major role in meeting these numbers.