There’s nothing worse when you’re on vacation than to realize that you spent way too much money on a hotel that’s subpar and in a bad location. Those that have an unending FOMO – fear of missing out – while traveling can now relax. Enter AVUXI – the next big thing when it comes to online travel booking services. It provides users the ability to make quicker and better decisions, when traveling, regarding the best accommodations in any city.
AVUXI works similar to Google’s PageRank, in that it uses algorithms that process a variety of signals left by users about the locations they’ve visited, to rank the social relevance and categorize the popularity of locations in cities worldwide. Such company falls into the category of “BigData” analytics, which refers to the process of collecting large data sets to uncover correlations, patterns and trends.
AVUXI, an expert in the analysis of “BigData,” has proven a successful business tool to companies in various fields and specifically, online travel agencies (OTA’s) specializing in accommodation bookings. By utilizing the insight provided by AVUXI, online companies can help their customers instantly understand what are the most socially relevant areas in any given city and location around the world. This facilitates the customers’ decision making by quickly familiarizing them with the surrounding areas’ social profile and what they have to offer.
Multiple studies have shown that only about 2% of users who visit an online booking site follow through with their reservation, while the other 98% leave the site. Many move on to surf the web to become better acquainted with the city or area they plan to visit. If the insights, that are now being provided by AVUXI, were available on the booking sites, customers would be better equipped to make a faster decision while remaining on the website. In a 200 billion dollar industry, growing at approximately 18% each year, AVUXI’s pilot tests have proven to result in an increase of 6.5% in conversion rates and 17% in booking value for the online portals.
AVUXI is a company that has not changed dramatically from it initial designed purpose. CEO, Alexis Batlle comments “we are still keeping all the intended elements, just changing the priorities around.” Originally, the founders intended on developing an augmented reality app that would allow the user to point their smartphone at any given location, and immediately identify its popularity and relevance. This presented a major challenge because it required an extremely extensive amount of processed data for it to function correctly, so they have inverted the process. AVUXI now possesses global data coverage that has allowed the company to grow and start monetizing much more rapidly. Yet, AVUXI still faces the challenge of a rapidly growing industry. Currently, their most relevant challenge is the capacity bandwidth, in terms of processing data quick enough, while simultaneously adopting the best technologies, and building the most productive team. It is an ongoing process, but they are steadily overcoming these challenges.
As a growing company, AVUXI has big plans ahead of them. Within the next two months, they plan on carrying out several major pilots with businesses, in order to collect more metrics to further develop, improve, and polish their service. In the second quarter of this year, they are planning on launching a commercially tested, polished product for the online travel agencies as well as a service that would greatly improve business intelligence and strategies. Additionally, AVUXI is working on a product that would similarly serve the connected car industry, and further establish their reputation.
Additionally, professionals like Pere Ripoll are helping startups operating under Wayra to close commercial deals with prominent Telefonica customers. Mr. Ripoll is the Head of Marketing for the Leisure and Tourism and Retail and Consumer sectors. He also serves as the link between the commercial area of Large Customers IDS and innovation initiatives within Telefónica.
“For Telefónica, it is very interesting to have companies like AVUXI, given that they fit within our strategic sector profile, which seeks to offer our customers great value propositions focused greatly on their business needs and therefore very “verticalized.” Companies like AVUXI can highly compliment Telefónica’s sectoral proposals with solutions that we could not otherwise answer with internal resources only,” says Ripoll.
Another key characteristic highlighted by Ripoll is that AVUXI can offer a layer of distinct information to companies focused on accommodation booking or travel distribution in Telefonica’s portfolio. Pere Ripoll comments that “The distribution of tourism products is very competitive, and our customers are constantly looking for ways to give added value to travelers and provide distinct experiences. It is in this arena where AVUXI can provide a very interesting layer of added value.”
Nevertheless, AVUXI has proven to be a growing startup, funded by Telefonica through Wayra, in Barcelona, Spain. In the third edition of companies, Telefonica was seeking startups with thematics in “BigData”, and AVUXI, with its extensive knowledge in the field, easily checked the box.
This is a guest post by Elisa Gomez Pena, a California-native studying International Relations and Economics at Colgate University in New York. She is currently studying abroad in Barcelona, and is also an International Public Relations & Communications intern at Wayra, the startup accelerator for Telefónica. Fascinated by languages and travel, she is on her path of pursuing a career in international business and finance.