Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Buzz and $$ around Yapta

I missed the early stories around the fund raising of Yapta (Your “Amazing” Personal Travel Agent). In July last year they announced the raising of $2.3M from First Round Capital, Voyager Capital, Swiftsure Capital and Bay Partners. This came shortly after their May 07 beta launch and news (from TechCrunch) that they had put the product together on the basis of $750k in angel funding and 5,000 private beta testers. I was traveling at the time of their raising and had little to add the blog reports such as that from But buzz and news is coming from other sources since the fund raising.

On the traffic level, the company is now claiming that 250,000 shoppers have used the engine to track flight spending. CEO Tom Romary (ex-Alaskan Airlines, ex- Real Networks) translates this into searches of flights of a value of more than $400mm. On the staffing level, the company has been boasting board numbers with the appointment of David Falter as a Director. Falter is a ex-Cendantite having served as President of Galileo Americas.

Yapta’s meta-search functionality twist is it operates on the site of the supplier rather than its own site. With old school meta-search like Kayak a customer enters in search terms and waits for the results on the Kayak site before being sent to the site of the supplier to book. With Yapta the consumer tags/bookmarks the search combination on the supplier’s site with the Yapta tag. If the price drops Yapta sends an alert to the consumer. Reminds me of recent chat with VibeAgent CEO Adam Healey where he described the web and social networks as “containers” with product based companies like VibeAgent and Yapta providing the applications that sit in the container. To work it requires and download and currently only works on major US carriers so there is still work to do to go global.

Here at the BOOT we will keep a watch on this buzz. Just (I am sure) like the Yapta execs are keeping a watch on the $115mm cheque that Microsoft signed to get their hands on Farecast.

1 comment:

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