Thursday, August 14, 2008

Meta-search Sprice announces revamped Singapore site - celebrates by showing only 2 hotels in Sydney

UPDATE - please see update

Sprice.com (previously called Fare.net) has been on my radar for a while because they raised some $10mm last year. However the first time I looked at their search results I did not like what I saw. There were plenty of hotels but the UI has hard to navigate and made comparison of hotel rates cumbersome and difficult. I was therefore interested to read a story on TravelMole announcing that they had revamped the Sprice.com Singaporean website. The functionality looks a lot better, is easier to navigate and has that clean & crisp travel2.0 light tones buzz about it. But (and this is a big but) on my random search for Sydney hotels check in 28 Aug Sprice.com returned only 2 hotels. As you can also see from the screenshot below the Google AdAense bar contains a strange collection of ads for US, UK and French destinations. Sprice have the UI issues fixed but need to go back to the connection and monetisation side of the business and do a lot more work.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that they are still going as the rumour I heard was that they fired all the original Fare.net team ( who were the Asian team) I think that all the development and code is developed in France, so perhaps Asia is not gettings its fair share of resources. Which is clearly evident in their Singapore site. I personally could not get their hotel search to work. I hope that they get their act together as the more competition in meta search the better

Anonymous said...

Yes, they do fired all the ex fare.net staff and move all the development to France...

I agree with Tim saying that marketing dollar is not quite yet in Asia Pacific....

Anonymous said...

what a crappy site - why the hell did they bother with a press release as their site is still half baked. What a waste of time

Anonymous said...

If they raised 10 million two years ago and all they have to show for money spent is the new Sprice site, then surley the VC's need to start asking some serious questions. Looks like wasted time and wasted money.

internet business said...

the Google AdAense bar contains a strange collection of ads for US, UK and French destinations.
Just no advertisers on this request.

steve sherlock said...

10mil - hmmm that would be nice.

yeah light, crisp look. branding does have potential especially compared to fare.net, but somehow seems a little more personality needed.

yeah thats always brings a little cringe when you do a search and a couple results come back for a major city.

its seems they are focusing more on rolling out new country sites than getting the content really robust in at least one country. I've made that mistake before.

their car rental search on their uk site could do with a few insider tips.

but with 10mil they'll probably have the liberty of stuffing up a bit more than less cashed up startups.

all that being said - show me a business without learning curves and i'll show you perfection. but not so public learning curves probably best option.

Anonymous said...

Why did they fire the asian team after receiving the 10 mil funding? this seems a little strange/ racist as both were equal founders in this startup.

Also, I like their older asian website (sometime early last year) than the european one, why on earth did they change it in the first place?

Anyway, congrats to the new site, looks better, but still below par and sadly, the content is horrible now, both asian and european.

If I had 10 mil, I would never ever ever based my team in france.

Jody, SG

Hotel-Blogs.com said...

I have heard as well that everything is moved to France Maybe we should ask Mr Bordat himself then. He's the founder of Sprice after all.

I am preparing something on hotel meta search engines for September. Watch this space.

Guillaume
www.hotel-blogs.com

Hotel-Blogs.com said...

Sprice is apparently split up between Strasbourg in France and Singapore.

http://www.linkedin.com/search?search=%20&reset=%20&searchOrigin=I&keywords=sprice

Guillaume

Tim Hughes said...

this post was a just a meant as casual glance at Sprice but it looks like there is a lot more to uncover...

Anonymous said...

wow, lots of posts for a crapy website.

i met the fare.net team some time back, i think they hardly sleep and their website content is quite good.

i think the fare.net team started off quite well when they selectively search flights/hotels for destinations and not like the others, search everything from everywhere. these guys seemed to know what they are doing and this technology saved them from excessive scraping the industry is worried.

i dont know what was the problem for the split or (they were fired?) but its sure is a bad omen for a startup.

i agree that the content is bad and as a travel veteran, i feel the website a year ago was way better than now.

theres alot to do guys. thanks for the post huges.

Anonymous said...
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Spa said...
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jerome said...

The test has been done with Sydney Canada and not Sydney Australia.
If you try Sydney Australia, it returns a lot of hotels for your best choice.
I hope this help.


Best regards
Jerome
Sprice.com

malbonster said...

Sprice is very bland and I don't feel very trusting of the ratings.

If you want to see an interesting social content model have a squint at Metrotwin.com. British Airways recently launched this online community that twins New York with London and is fed by a blog network. It's a social utility serving a niche (admittedly, a *mega*-niche) rather than a social networking site. Very pretty and great content (I would say that, my agency designed it), plus a buzz-based algorithm tracking user behaviour and sentiment, and dynamic 'charts' of the best places in both cities. Bloggers and online communities are the real local experts - it's what many of us now look for when researching a destination or trip - authentic, intelligent recommendations, filtered out from the wall of noise, spam-sites and search cheating. Good relevant blogs (and the most relevant pages within them) are particularly hard to find. Have a look at http://www.metrotwin.com and please let me know what you think.

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