Our Start-up of the Week is Israel-based Pruvo, which uses a special algorithm to offer consumers hotel rooms at the best possible price.
“Hotel prices tend to change after reservations are made,” explained Pruvo co-founder and chief marketing officer Doron Nadivi.
“It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into finding the best deal – most likely, your reservation will experience a price drop after reservation.
“Pruvo is the Robin Hood of the hotel industry!”
‘We are a price optimisation platform that ensures you will never overpay for a hotel again’
– DORON NADIVI
Nadivi explained that Pruvo is an automatic online service that takes an existing hotel reservation from any website, hotel or travel agency, tracks its price 24/7 and alerts the user once there is a better deal for the exact room within the same dates the user had already booked.
“The only requirement is that any reservation must have a free cancellation option.”
While bootstrapped, the company estimates it has saved more than €320,000 for its customers.
Nadivi explained that on a B2C level, Pruvo is targeting all travellers who reserve rooms with a free cancellation reservation worldwide.
“Numbers-wise, there is a 40pc chance that your reservation will experience a price drop after the reservation is made. This price drop can reach up to 67pc off the total reservation amount.
“On a B2B level, we are targeting airlines and travel agencies with a revenue share model in order to help them recuperate ‘lost revenue’ from customers that only book flights through them, but book their own hotels.
CEO Itai Marcipar is a graduate of the Technion University in Haifa, Israel, and has been an entrepreneur for more than 11 years.
CTO Regev Brody is also a graduate of Technion University and is a full-stack engineer.
Nadivi has 11 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, mostly in Latin America, and is on the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce for Israel-Costa Rica.
“When someone sends us their reservations, our system processes the exact reservation details, and sophisticated algorithms start scanning tens of hotel websites and hotel providers 24/7 to detect price drops,” Nadivi explained.
“Once we detect a price drop, our system automatically notifies the customer with the details on how to obtain the new, cheaper reservation.
“Our goal is to bring the ‘low-cost revolution’ to hotels as well. If you look at the flight and car rental industries, you will see that over the past few years, prices have gone down significantly, not to mention companies like EasyJet and Ryanair, which have made airfare cheaper than driving a car.
“Our goal is to provoke this change in the hotel industry as well.”
A revolution in travel
Nadivi said that Pruvo is experiencing exponential, steady and healthy growth.
Over the last 10 months, it has seen a 34pc increase in users and reservations.
“Our customer acquisition cost is way below market average. The reason behind this is because our service is extremely viral, both when people hear about what we do for free, and more so once someone receives from us a price drop.
“Our platform is available in English, Hebrew and Spanish, and, due to a sudden surge in reservations received from Brazil and Portugal, we recently translated our platform to Portuguese as well.”
A key challenge is educating users who are not familiar with the phenomenon of price drops right after reservations are made.
“We are not a price comparison platform like Trivago or Trip Advisor; rather, we are a price optimisation platform that ensures you will never overpay for a hotel again.”
According to Nadivi, Israel is in the grips of a start-up revolution. Already a world-renowned tech hub, he estimates that 10 start-ups a day are being born in Israel.
“It’s incredible the rate at which new, game-changing ideas are being turned into companies by brilliant minds.”
His advice to would-be founders is to hone and develop their ideas part-time while having the benefit of a steady income.
“Before you look for investment, put a goal to make your start-up profitable while still being bootstrapped.
“And, when building your ‘founder team’, team up with people with different skills than yours. It is very common to see that start-ups are made up of all techies.”
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