Archive for the ‘AirBnB’ Category:
Investment in travel applications continues. Social Flights continues to track the convergence of these technologies and demonstrate where we fit into the new travel paradigm. This article features Gidsy.com, the “activity-booker-meets-social-networking” site - claimed to be the AirBnB of travel. Notably they are location in Berlin (not the Valley), and their lead investor is none other than @AplusK.
Venture capitalist tend to invest in businesses that they understand and businesses that they can influence. Ashton Kutcher is well known for his influence in both old media and new media – but where is the connection between that and travel?…except that Ashton needs to travel to get to Berlin. Perhaps herein lies the answer.
“What I love about Gidsy is that they are creating a movement and a strong, credible community of likeminded people,” said supporter Felix Petersen in an interview with VentureVillage. “It’s important that like-minded businesses and individuals in Berlin cross-invest and help each other out.”
On the other hand (from the same article)
Kutcher has invested in over 40 tech companies to date, some of which remain unnamed out of fear that his own publicity would overshadow the product itself.
How important is access to information?
Access to locations and access to information about location is critical to both the success of the people who live there as well as the people who go there. In this light, products like Gidsy take on new meaning and impact for communities and travelers.
Gidsy.com allows users to offer paid-for activities and courses to other members of the community, as well as full social networking integration. Initially launched for the Berlin area, Gidsy now covers Amsterdam, New York and San Francisco, with London to follow soon. Gidsy’s business model (charging 10% of each transaction) differs from similar US services like SideTour in NY (which charges a higher 20%) and Vayable (available in six cities, charging a 15% fee). How they will hold up against American competition is yet to be seen.
The Virtuous Circle
Basically, Gidsy allows people to book activities provided by real people. After listening to a recent program of TrendPOV by Dr. Amy Vanderbilt and her guest Reinhold Behringer about Augmented Reality, Gidsy.com seems to create the underlying dataset to this next level of travel technology. The ability to point your smartphone down a street and see what activities are happening is only an iPhone revision away. Proximity is a play on “location” and inherently invokes transportation. So it is easy to see that many applications and technologies are converging.
Back to Ashton Kutcher and travel
Airlines and airplanes are increasingly confined to major hub airports. Because everything is scheduled and booked far in advance, there is relatively little richness to the data that would drive an augmented reality experience in an airport. However, where schedules are fluid, and activities are localized, and people are being creative, new markets will inevitably emerge.
Social Flights provides the dataset and certification to publish flights out of smaller local airports with the flexibility of flying non-stop to other small airports. Combined applications such as Gidsy, augmented reality, and Social Flights can open up a new world of travel opportunities. Maybe the “Hollywood Augmented Reality” is not so far off the mark after all.