Holiday information portal HolidayIQ.com, has demerged from Singapore based Wego a little over two years after the two parties had announced a merger. In addition, the company has raised an undisclosed amount of money in a “Series B” round of financing from Tiger Global and Accel Partners. Funnily enough, they’d said at the time of the merger that the entities had raised a Series B round as well.
We’re not sure of how much of this money has been used to buy back Wego’s stake in the co, and the demerger is a little surprising because the marriage between a holiday information portal and a travel search engine appears to be an ideal fit. That said, the online travel industry is going through a bit of a problem in India right now, with convenience fees having gone up, and airlines no longer willing to share fees with online travel agents.
What Is Holiday IQ?
HolidayIQ.com lists about 30,000 Indian hotels and 1300 Indian destinations. Oddly enough, it’s note on this demerger mentions what it is not, as much as what it is:
HolidayIQ.com is not a travel agency and does not do bookings. HolidayIQ.com is also not partially or fully owned by any travel agency or hotel chain or any other travel industry player. Therefore HolidayIQ.com is fully independent and can provide travellers with truthful information not affected by any requirements to sell specific travel products.
This begs the question – where there issues between the merged entities, in terms of concerns of independence of content and holiday recommendations, that HolidayIQ is adding this statement to a demerger and funding announcement? Or is this a statement of intent, and an attempt to position itself in a market that is largely dominated by booking services?
What HolidayIQ Needs To Do
In either case, this statement of intent gets a thumbs up from us: as a traveler, what I really want is a Zomato for travel (and Zomato: you can take that as a compliment, your data and apps are outstanding). As a travel information app (and I’d prefer an app over a website, frankly), what are some of the things you need to do:
– You’re helping people make a selection about where to go, where to stay, and more pertinently, what to do once you get there.
– An application which does this needs to keep its data current and relevant, base it on the users selection (personalization), and help, using maps, with promixity to other locations.
– It needs to have events currently taking place in the city one is visiting, make recommendations on the basis of relevancy to the reader (or on the basis of the readers selection)
– It needs to provide information on current weather, expected weather, local travel information (bus), where to go from there if you have some time
– It needs to allow users to add places and things to do (with editorial oversight), and vote up or down locations.
Which app manages to do all of this? None. Wikitravel is as good as its gets, for now.