EyeforTravel North America 2017

October 2017, Las Vegas (USA)

Splitty in San Francisco’s startup spotlight

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It was Splitty and PacketZoom that went head-to-head in last week's startup contest, but one that wants to convince you that there is yet another way to save money on that next hotel booking won the day. Derek Walter reports

A bargain travel hunter claims that it can find dramatic savings on hotel reservations, in some cases up to 25% compared to other booking services, was the winner of last week’s EyeforTravel San Francisco startup contest. A big claim, from the small firm which beat runner up PacketZoom in final vote from conference attendees.

At first, it sounds like one of those over-the-top promises we hear about all the time from Silicon Valley. But Splitty CEO Eran Shust says his company delivers, even offering on-screen demonstrations and comparison to other travel sites to prove the point.

At first, it sounds like one of those over-the-top promises we hear about all the time from Silicon Valley

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you want a reservation for Monday through Thursday. Splitty will book two separate reservations at the same hotel, Monday through Tuesday and then Wednesday through Thursday. Due to the ways that some rooms are priced lower for shorter stretches of days, this can actually cost less, according to Shust.

“It's by design, you have a revenue manager who distributes different rate plans. We’re trying out all the different sources and packaging it into a single deal,” he said. “We’re actually increasing their occupancy levels, so this is why we're working with them and we need to push for cooperation.”

Another example, detailed on the Splitty site, is that you may get two different types of rooms. It’s a workaround that would require you to move from that executive suite to a classic king, but it’ll get you in the door if inventory is tight.

Room switches are rarer. As Shust pointed out, at Splitty the goal is for you to have the same experience as a more traditional booking.

“Behind the scenes, we're working hard to make it seamless for the traveller,” he said.

Splitty is already live, and Shust wanted to promote the service with a special link for EyeforTravel readers to give it a try. He says the company is working with hotel partners and Trivago, it certainly could be another competitor for booking services.

Tell us what you think in the comments box below. And we’d like to hear what hotels think too!

PacketZoom wants to speed up your app

The runner-up in the vote was PacketZoom, a company that optimises mobile apps in a world that still struggles to offer good Internet connectivity.

“Performance is of the essence for every type of app, but especially for travel apps,” said Shlomi Gian, PacketZoom CEO. “Consumers have come to expect speedy content downloads, and when it takes too long they don’t necessarily blame the networks or external factors - they blame the apps, and they’ll close out of them or sometimes even uninstall them altogether when things are too slow. It is crucial that app developers do all they can to make sure that their apps don’t experience any undue delays.” 

Performance is of the essence for every type of app, but especially for travel apps

Shlomi Gian, CEO, PacketZoom 

Daniela Balaban, head of marketing for PacketZoom, said many travel companies fail a “four second test”. With this, most consumers are expected to abandon the app after four seconds pass by. This can mean crucial lost business for travel brands that are potentially missing out on bookings.

“It's a self-serve product, it's available for download on our website, any company can test it out themselves, and we encourage people to request a performance report,” she said. “They can run a very similar test to what we did with the leading [travel] apps. Run it across different devices, look at the speed and potential improvements.”

The company’s mobile observatory and benchmarks is a resource for helping companies understand where in the world where are likely to be performance issues and why it may make sense to optimise an app against poor connectivity.

Want to enter an EyeforTravel Startup competition? Keep an eye on the our EyeforTravel’s second half events in Las Vegas (Oct 19 - 20) and Amsterdam (Dec 4-5)

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