Trio of tech start-ups join easyJet-backed accelerator
easyJet and Founders Factory have announced the three new start-ups who are set to join the travel tech accelerator programme.
In October 2016 easyJet announced a strategic investment into Founders Factory, the corporate backed incubator and accelerator founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox.
As part of their partnership, easyJet and Founders Factory will support the growth of five early stage travel tech start-ups every year, for five years.
The three start-ups to join this years cohort are all based in London, with one recently relocating to the capital from Boston, USA.
An online, group travel booking platform founded in 2016 in Tel Aviv by CEO Yotam Idan, David Benzimra, Ben Lang and Roy Zinn. WeTrip enables small groups to plan and book activity holidays together, selling complete and bespoke holiday packages. Their algorithm is connected to distinctive activity suppliers comparing endless combinations of components to build real-time offers, according to the preferences of the group. Payment is also made simple as group members can pay separately. WeTrip recently launched its first product WeSki – the bespoke ski holiday booking platform.
Car and Away
What’s being called the ‘Airbnb for Cars’, Car & Away is a peer-to-peer car sharing community where car owners make money out of their parked vehicle whilst they are away on their travels. Founded in 2016 by Andy Hibbert, former CEO of Reed & Mackay Travel, Car & Away seeks to provide an alternative to traditional car rental at airports.
Founded by Berkeley alumni Dr Bala Chandran, Boston-based Flightsayer uses sophisticated simulation algorithms and machine learning to better predict flight delays hours, days, and weeks before departure. With a $1.75m grant from NASA, the company’s technology is being used in the US by corporations, airlines and travel management companies to improve travel experience and increase efficiencies with plans to adapt to the European airspace.
Henry Lane Fox, CEO of Founders Factory, said: “Our in-house operations team provides intense, bespoke support to assist with the growth of these new businesses. Combine that with the industry knowledge and scale of easyJet, these companies have an unfair advantage not only when it comes to innovating the travel industry, but presents a smart way for international start-ups like Flightsayer and WeTrip to launch their technology across Europe.”
UK based scale-up TrustedHousesitters, the global community of pet sitters, is one of the success stories to emerge from the Founders Factory. As a direct result of being a part of the programme, easyJet and TrustedHousesitters have partnered, enabling passengers to join the TrustedHousesitters community and choose a free house sitter for their pet or find free accommodation as a house or pet sitter when booking flights at easyJet.com.
In September the first travel start-ups graduated the programme: FLIO, the global airport app, has since raised a seven-figure seed round and is live in 10 airports across Europe. easyJet and FLIO are now working on delivering a content integration to the easyJet: Travel App.
LuckyTrip are well advanced in creating a collaborative product with easyJet which will be integrated directly into the easyJet: Travel App, scheduled to go live early in 2018.
Other highlights include being selected by Apple as the first “Meet the Developers” on the launch day of the new iOS 11 App Store, launching across more European markets and gearing up for its Android release in the coming months.
Published: 24 January 2018