AI-powered bot Eddy Travels lands $500K inaugural round for market expansion

PhocusWire | December 27, 2019

Eddy Travels, an AI-powered assistant that helps users find flights, has just completed its first major investment with a $500,000 pre-seed round. Techstars Toronto, Practica Capital and Open Circle Capital VCs led the round, which was mostly in convertible notes. There was also participation from angel investors in the United States, Canada and the U.K. The Toronto-based startup simplifies the travel experience by offering flight deals in chat apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Slack. Since its debut in 2018, Eddy Travels has grown to over 150,000 users and 50,000 monthly applied searches.

Spotlight

Travelers are returning. But their behaviors, expectations and values are very different. Travel
companies no longer have the luxury of keeping enterprise operations as they have been for years.
Imagine if every member of your team had both customer and operations data at their fingertips
to transform the customer experience without adding any additional cost? That future is coming.
To make bold moves and drive improvements—at the right cost, travel players need to improve
their operations to become future-ready.

Spotlight

Travelers are returning. But their behaviors, expectations and values are very different. Travel
companies no longer have the luxury of keeping enterprise operations as they have been for years.
Imagine if every member of your team had both customer and operations data at their fingertips
to transform the customer experience without adding any additional cost? That future is coming.
To make bold moves and drive improvements—at the right cost, travel players need to improve
their operations to become future-ready.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Omicron and Travel: Travelner Advises How to Find the Best Online Travel Insurance

Travelner | February 10, 2022

The pandemic in general, and the outbreak of Omicron recently, have created a much broader awareness of travel insurance. “What happens if I get Covid during travel?” is for sure the most frequently asked question by travelers worldwide. The answer is in fact, very simple: “Insurance".Many travel insurance companies are now offering travel insurance packages that include the medical coverages of Covid-19. But would it benefit travelers in light of the new Omicron variant or any variant that may potentially appear? And how to find the best online travel insurance amongst so many options out there? Follow these top tips recommended by Travelner experts - a top-class travel agency - to get travel insurance online that can fully protect you and your loved ones when traveling abroad. Find a credible provider to get travel insurance online It is indisputably essential to check your insurance provider’s credibility before processing any further transaction since it will directly affect your benefits. “The best way to thoroughly examine your insurance provider is by looking at their state licensing, claims process, and complaints. And don’t be afraid to ask the provider about how they handle claims and how they arrive at a claim award ", said Tyler Wong of Travelner. These questions will help you choose which insurance company can support you to get travel insurance online and assist you in the event of an emergency. Don’t forget to check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure that the procedure is transparent and trustworthy. An insurance company’s financial strength is a valid proof of its ability to secure your benefits in case of any incidents. Travelner is proud to be a strategic partner with Trawick Insurance - recommended by Forbes as one of the best online travel insurance companies so that we can ensure travelers can fully experience their holidays when traveling with us. Compare plans, prices, and benefits of cheap online travel insurance packages Although most travel insurance packages do include Covid-19 medical expenses, some of them might not. Therefore, Travelner experts suggest travelers should read the policies carefully and look out for those that exclude pandemics. Travelner is currently providing a travel insurance package that covers medical expenses for COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and any mutation or variation of SARS-CoV-2. Most travel insurance plans with medical benefits now treat Covid like any other illness. So when comparing prices to find the best online travel insurance, make sure that you are considering packages with the same plans and benefits. Keep in mind that cheap online travel insurance doesn’t mean it is the best option for your trip abroad. Moreover, note that to make a claim, you must have had travel insurance before becoming ill since insurance is designed for unforeseen issues. Check on the claims process of the travel insurance provider People often overlook the importance of claims process transparency, while in fact, it is one of the determining factors to distinguish between an ordinary and the best online travel insurance company. An ideal claims process should be transparent and fully guided so that you should know who and how to contact to make an insurance claim. With Travelner’s insurance, travelers can rest assured that the claim procedure is clearly instructed and all claim forms can be found easily on the Travelner website. No more tedious process to get your family and yourself fully protected from the pandemic when traveling abroad with our insurance package.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Affirm and Agoda Enter Partnership

Agoda | June 14, 2022

On June 13, payment network Affirm announced a partnership with global travel platform Agoda. Agoda is part of Booking Holdings, the world’s leading online travel and related services provider. This partnership allows eligible travelers to book their hotel stays for upcoming trips across the Agoda platform via app and web. In addition, they can pay over time for bookings exceeding $50. When travelers choose Affirm as a checkout action on Agoda, those eligible can split the total cost of their purchases into either biweekly or monthly payments for as low as 0% APR. Travelers get to see the total cost of their purchase at the time and never have to pay more than the agreed amount upfront. Agoda has integrated Affirm’s Adaptive Checkout to offer customers various payment options to choose from based on their budget and preferences. Eligible travelers also have an option to pay four interest-free biweekly payments and monthly payment options. “We are always looking for innovative ways to help more people access travel, using tech to simplify the search, booking and payment processes,The launch of pay-over-time options with Affirm will enable travelers in North America who might have previously found it inconvenient to pay for their booking in one lump sum to spread the costs over multiple payments without incurring any compound interest or additional costs. We’re helping consumers get back out into the world of travel – on their own terms.” -Agoda’s Chief Financial Officer Thi-Mai-Linh Bui. According to a recent Affirm Consumer Spend Report, 80% of consumers agree that 2022 will be the year they splurge on a bucket-list trip and nearly 30% plan to pay for travel expenses over time instead of all at once, said Affirm’s Chief Revenue Officer Geoff Kott. “Our partnership with Agoda gives more travelers a budget-friendly way to pay for their next milestone vacation so they can travel without concern for late or hidden fees.

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FEATURES AND ADVICE

American Express GBT, Cvent Add Corporate Responsibility Questions To Hotel RFP

Cvent, American Express Global Business Travel | September 06, 2021

In an effort to gather and standardize data related to corporate social responsibility efforts at hotels, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and Cvent have created new questions for suppliers to answer as a supplement to the Global Business Travel Association’s request for proposals template. The joint initiative includes 47 questions focused on sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion that are intended to help travel managers evaluate suppliers on these issues. To develop the questions, GBT’s Global Business Consulting team (GBC) and Cvent interviewed corporations, global hotel brands, travel management companies and consultancies. The companies say along with helping travel managers evaluate hotels, the questions benefit hotels by reducing the time needed to respond to individual requests for information on these topics. “As we accelerate the return to travel and events, customer requests for supplier data on corporate responsibility issues are soaring,” says Nina Marcello, a principal within GBC who first proposed the initiative. “Together, GBC and Cvent worked with stakeholders across corporate and meetings travel to deliver a solution that will increase the availability of relevant sustainability and DE&I data. This initiative reflects our own environmental, social and governance commitments and enables suppliers and travel managers around the world to further their corporate responsibility goals. ” Hotel suppliers answer the supplemental questions, related to things such as carbon emissions and leadership demographics, within the Cvent Transient solution. Hotel chains can also work with their properties to collect and import the information to their profiles. “The speed at which we developed these questions reflects the significance of this work, and they are already being used by our hotel clients. This initiative benefits the entire corporate travel supply chain by facilitating the sharing and reporting of important topics that impact every organization,” says Brian Sullivan, senior director of product management at Cvent.

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