TravelDNA seed planted on rocky honeymoon

Jan 09, 2012
Vacationers swim and sunbathe at a private beach near Santa Margherita Ligure, southern Genova, Italy, in 2011. Anishiya Taneja and her husband turned a rocky honeymoon in Italy into inspiration for a free online travel service that matches people with ideal vacation itineraries.

Anishiya Taneja and her husband turned a rocky honeymoon into inspiration for a free online travel service that matches people with ideal vacation itineraries.

TravelDNA has been a viral hit during an invitation-only test period and has already caught the eyes of Google, and Amazon.

"We are trying to be the Amazon.com for travel; building the perfect itinerary for every user in less than a second," Taneja said while showing TravelDNA to reporters gathered for the .

She described the service as a computerized version of "a travel agent who knew you perfectly; had expertise of anywhere in the world; was open 24-seven and was free."

TravelDNA uses algorithms and machine learning to navigate the oceans of data about flights, hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more from a cornucopia of partners such as Expedia, and Lonely Planet, Michelin, and Frommer's guides.

"Because we do this mathematically, we can endlessly match people to places and objects to find the best results," Taneja said.

"No human could put that level of effort into it," she continued. "Essentially, we are saying who are you, what do you like and what do you want?"

TravelDNA will cover 20 destination cities when the service opens to the public in March, and will have every city in the world by the end of the year, according to Taneja, the startup's founder and chief executive.

TravelDNA planned to make money by getting paid for customers referred to websites where people book flights, hotel stays or other travel arrangements.

The service will also get revenue from advertisements at the website and from deals to let travel planners know of bargains being promoted by daily-deal operations.

TravelDNA is working on a "wallet" service that would charge users to keep track of loyalty awards for flights or hotels and then build intineraries based on trips or stays they could get using points accrued.

TravelDNA is looking to partner with tour guides, event promoters, vacation home managers and even home room-letting sites such as AirBnB to add their offerings to itinerary options.

"My husband and I went on a honeymoon to Italy," Taneja said when asked what led to the company's birth.

"I was completely frustrated and we realized that every single traveler has a different DNA and their idea of a vacation is different," she continued.

"Lots of spouses and travel partners are like that; opposites attract. We thought we could solve marital and friend discord if we surface the likes they share and use those to make a great vacation."

TravelDNA consists of seven people working out of an office in downtown San Francisco. Its advisory board includes an executive from the team at California Internet giant .

Explore further: Study shows role of media in sharing life events

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google launches Flight Search

Sep 13, 2011

Internet giant Google launched a flight search tool on Tuesday in a potential challenge to online travel services.

US travel site TripAdvisor hits market with thud

Dec 21, 2011

Shares of popular travel ratings website TripAdvisor sank about five percent on their first day trading publicly Wednesday, as US investors remained skittish about new tech listings.

Google launches 'Hotel Finder'

Jul 30, 2011

Google, which purchased a leading flight software company earlier this year, has launched a new tool for finding hotels.

Expedia to spin off TripAdvisor

Apr 08, 2011

Online travel giant Expedia announced plans on Thursday to spin off TripAdvisor into a separate publicly traded company later this year.

Hipmunk travel booking lands on iPad

Jun 21, 2011

Hipmunk's slick travel booking service that sorts flights by "agony" and hotels by "ecstasy" landed on Apple's iPad tablet computers on Tuesday.

Ctrip surfs China's homegrown travel wave

Mar 21, 2011

A crescendo of voices builds on a typically bustling day in the Shanghai headquarters of Ctrip.com as staff put together hundreds of tourist trips. It is the sound of China's travel boom.

Recommended for you

Scalping can raise ticket prices

11 hours ago

Scalping gets a bad rap. For years, artists and concert promoters have stigmatized ticket resale as a practice that unfairly hurts their own sales and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets to sold-out concerts. ...

Study shows role of media in sharing life events

Jul 24, 2014

To share is human. And the means to share personal news—good and bad—have exploded over the last decade, particularly social media and texting. But until now, all research about what is known as "social sharing," or the ...

User comments : 0