How many times have you visited what seems like dozens of websites to gather reams of data regarding your travel plans before you actually settle down to finding the right deal? Even then you just want to check a few more sites to see “if” you can gain a better deal. Wanderio wants you to stop searching for the unobtainable deal at the end of the rainbow immediately and actually help you book all you need for your European trip.
Wanderio wants to be your one stop shop. The Italian startup allows you enter any two addresses worldwide, it then shows you the cheapest and most convenient combination of either: planes, trains and or automobiles to get the job done! Wanderio emerged from private beta and launched publicly at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Booking travel can make even the strongest nerved person have decision paralysis! With so many different ways to get from A 2 B, it can be tough to complete your plans with confidence in your final decision (Is this the best, shortest, cheapest, most economical way to get there?).
Wanderio’s co-founder Disheng Qiu has been through this travel trauma himself. He was living in Rome; all the while his girlfriend lived in Amsterdam. The distance was brutal and Disheng didn’t want to bankrupt himself or spending his life constantly on the move. In Europe, flights can be cheap, but ground transport is expensive and coupled with numerous airports in major cities, the distance from touchdown to final destination can vary widely. Lisheng needed to create something and so Wanderio was born. The developer and computer science PhD began building it with co-founders CEO Matteo Colò, a management Masters, and CTO Luca Rossi, another CS PhD.
The 8-person team has remarkably bootstrapped the company for a two year period so far, but is now looking to close a round of about €150,000. Wanderio launched its private beta in back in June, but now has opened the service to everyone. The service works worldwide, but has the furthest reaching options which are indexed for European travel.
The interface for Wanderio will be familiar to anyone who has used Kayak or similar sites. Rather than entering your start and end city or airport, you can enter exact addresses, thereby creating a completely tailored service. Wanderio then calculates all the travel combination and informs you of the best routes in visual timelines. Each leg of the journey displays the price and travel time and is colour. It’s built web first, but has a tablet-optimized mobile site with future plans for native applications. Wanderio allows you to filter results by price, duration, or even CO2 emissions for the eco-conscious among you. You pick a route and then you lock in each leg of the journey’s specifics. When you are finally ready to book, Wanderio redirects you to the airline, train, and taxi/shuttle sites to pay for your purchases. That last part is somewhat bothersome, but the team does eventually hope to strike up some deal integrations with its partners so you can purchase tickets straight from Wanderio.
The startup earns its money from referral fees. From flights it’s just a small 1%, for trains it varies from 5% to 7%, but on ground transportation it can be as high as 10% or 15%. Taxis and shuttles are “Those are services without much exposure on the Internet…so they are willing to pay high referral fees”, Wanderio CTO Luca Rossi, said. In the Long-term, Wanderio is hoping to find people accommodation and events whilst on their trip, such as museums to concerts.
The competition from Waymate, GoEuro, etc is strong, but Wanderio hopes to win by focusing on the door-to-door experience including ground connections. Unfortunately so does fellow journey planner RouteRank.
[Image via: htmlinspiration]