Dave McClure’s company, 500 Startups, which provides seed funding and guidance to early-stage companies, recently graduated its Batch 7 group. Starting last fall, the 30 companies went through a rigorous training and mentoring program through McClure’s team. Having attended the batch’s New York City reception, we explore eight standouts from the group.
What is OLSET? OLSET wants you to become a better traveler by personalizing your travel booking for you. It lets its partner organizations learn about a particular traveler’s preferences and categorizes hotel features and reviews to match the two. For the actual booking, it would use either a travel booking site or a virtual assistant app. “It is very rewarding to know that in a few years we will all have a proactive and personalized way to book travel,” says founder Gadi Bashvitz, who describes OLSET as a big data company. OLSET recently launched its first partnership with Any.do and a deal with what will be its first Online Travel Agent, GetGoing.
What pain-point is it trying to solve? According to Bashvitz, travel booking is broken, especially for business travelers. While the information travelers need prior to making a reservation is sitting in other travelers’ reviews, it is not easily accessible. This means that a traveler takes 45 minutes on average to find and book a hotel. This is not just bad for the traveler, but also the travel industry, because four out of every five potential customers who come to a website with the intent to book do not end up doing so.