Elude | August 09, 2021
Elude, the travel discovery and booking service that is reinventing the vacation experience for all, launched its mobile app today. Elude is the first solution of its kind catering directly to the new traveler who seeks to escape the ordinary by exploring destinations they can afford but might not have known previously existed.
By disrupting the traditional and inefficient travel booking model, Elude is the only booking platform answering the question -- Where can I travel for 500 dollars? Elude’s key feature is a budget-first search engine that provides users immediate access to global flights, leaving from the nearest airport, and accommodations within their selected price range. The platform’s personalized onboarding experience customizes trip packages and curates future travel suggestions based on customer’s preferences. Elude is also bringing rewards and credits to travel booking. Whether travelers are looking for a last-minute getaway or an extended stay, Elude is opening access to global destinations, all in line with the customer’s budget.
“Shopping for travel is broken, and we are modernizing an archaic system by supercharging the way people plan their vacations,” said Alex Simon, Chief Executive Officer. “People deserve to feel emboldened to explore, and we want our users to have access to the transformative power of travel more often.”
Elude was brought to life by avid travelers, Simon and Frankie Scerbo, who craved to travel the globe during college, only to realize all the trips they researched were too expensive. Built from their personal pain points, Elude is granting access to global destinations that travelers can afford to explore. The co-founders closed their initial investments while traveling abroad, raising 2.1 million in funding.
Mucker Capital, Unicorn Ventures, Upfront Scout Fund, StartupO, Grayson Capital and Flight VC have invested in Elude. Elude has also attracted industry veteran advisors, including global entrepreneur from Priceline.com Jeff Hoffman, former Airmap CEO Ben Marcus and prominent social media industry leaders such as former Instagram Chief Marketing Officer, Cliff Hopkins, and Snapchat’s Head of International Partnerships, Juan David Borrero.
“As an active investor and advisor in the travel industry, I have seen numerous ideas and attempts to reframe the travel booking process, and none of them grabbed my attention the way Elude did,” Hoffman added. “Elude reflects the way many travelers prefer to travel, and yet no one has been able to capture that until now. Frankie and Alex are constantly exploring the pain points travelers face as they create and reimagine the future of the industry. From the beginning, they presented a practical and methodical approach for building a product that will make travelers’ lives easier.”
With millennials spending over $200B annually on travel, younger generations are constantly on the move. Simon and Scerbo’s experience growing Elude led to the realization that their users are more interested in making their money last longer. They want multiple trips throughout the year instead of spending large amounts of their disposable income on just one trip each year.
“Our users are craving to explore the world differently. Instead of planning trips to landmark locations, our users are searching for quiet treasures that offer refuge from the hustle of city life,” said Scerbo, “We’re thrilled to lead the industry into its next chapter, rebuilding an ecosystem of adventurers that was disjointed during the pandemic.”
Elude is perfectly catered to the next generation of travelers, who are eager to share experiences with a greater global community. Today, 97% of vacationers will share vacation posts on social media, and travel creators enable consumers to uncover newfound destinations from their living room. Yet, people are still spending hundreds of hours scrolling to prepare for a trip instead of actively booking vacations. In a feverish time for travel, people are craving adventure, and Elude is imploring everyone to wander more and worry less.
Elude is the only travel discovery and booking platform that allows anyone to plan trips in line with their budget -- instead of location or price. Elude’s key feature is a spontaneous budget-first travel search engine that offers access to global flights and accommodations. Elude’s fully customizable onboarding experience offers curated trip packages and future trip suggestions based on customers’ preferences and interests. By disrupting the traditional travel booking model, Elude is building a community of explorers, allowing anyone to experience the transformative powers of travel more often.
Google Travel | June 01, 2021
Google is making moves that further blur the line between hotels and private accommodations.
The search giant says searches for “beach rentals” and “staycations” grew by more than 100% globally in the last year. It wants to better serve that interest by combining vacation rentals and hotels in one comprehensive search result for a destination.
The “vacation rentals” filter – launched in 2019 – remains for users that want to limit results to only non-hotel properties. Still, without that filter, the default display will show both types of accommodations.
Google says results are ranked organically based on relevance to the user’s query. The company would not provide a list of current supply partners, but searches on the site show listings from Tripadvisor, Vacasa, Red Awning, Sonder, Rentals United, and others.
Vrbo listings had been on the site for nearly two years but in its earnings call in February, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern announced the company had pulled them, saying, “We didn’t find investment in the Google vacation rental product particularly incremental, we didn’t think the customer experience was precious, and we are of course also having a period where we see great direct traffic for Vrbo. So we found other ways, and I’d argue more profitable ways, to drive traffic.”
It’s unclear at this stage whether properties from Booking.com and Airbnb are participating in the vacation rental search.
Google announced the new combined hotels and vacation rental search product Thursday morning during its Google Marketing Live online event.
“We’ve seen growing and sustained interest in vacation rentals since the start of the pandemic and have evolved our product accordingly to meet those user preferences. This launch is the first time that we’re showing results that combine both hotels and vacation rentals when a user is trying to find a place to stay,” says a company spokesperson via email.
forbes | June 03, 2019
Although he’s now famous as a wealthy investor on ABC’s reality pitch show Shark Tank, Robert Herjavec wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His family fled communist Yugoslavia (now Croatia) in 1970, arriving in Canada by boat with one suitcase and just $20. Young Herjavec worked hard waiting tables, delivering newspapers, and eventually launching a computer company from his basement. Today as the CEO of the Herjavec Group, Canada's largest IT security provider, Herjavec is also a veteran road warrior who spends 100 days away from home each year. He recently teamed up with La Quinta by Wyndham to unveil the brand’s first-ever “La Quinta Means Business” survey, which delves into the behaviors, quirks and realities business travelers face.