The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
[More from Mashable: 3 Must-Have iPhone Apps for Business Travel]
Quick Pitch: Guestmob uses advanced search algorithms to find discounted hotels in major U.S. cities.
[More from Mashable: 5 Free Animated GIF Creators You Can Use Online]
Genius Idea: Relying on social data and predictive algorithms to find users the best prices on hotels.
Launching in 20 new U.S. markets Friday, hotel-booking website Guestmob wants to change the way consumers book hotels online. Guestmob uses a "back end auction" to find the best deals with participating hotels. It's a little like Priceline meets Kayak.
Here's how it works: type in the city you want to visit and a collection of hotels in that area will appear on the screen. Guestmob says it has carefully rated each one to ensure consistency and accuracy. The company then applies its pricing algorithm, which factors supply and demand and well as "social signals" in that region to find users the best price. You won't know which hotel in the collection you landed until it's booked, but the bookings are fully refundable.
Guestmob says they can offer these hotels at prices 50% lower than the best online rates for the same hotels on the same dates on major travel websites.
“Guestmob is a unique balance of manual curation and algorithmic pricing. On one hand, we spend countless hours reviewing hotels to ensure quality and consistency, a task best suited for human judgment, on the other, we push the envelope with software algorithms and math to find the optimal price point”, said Yann Ngongang, CEO of Guestmob in a press statement. “So for travelers with a little bit of flexibility, we can deliver significant savings.”
To access Guestmob, users can log in with Facebook or email or simply create a separate account. The startup had a soft launch in San Francisco this past fall and on Friday added 20 new markets: New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Boston, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Portland and Phoenix.
Guestmob was founded in 2010 by Yann Ngongang. The small start-up is based in San Mateo, Calif. Guestmob has raised seed funding from Vaizra Investments, and numerous angle investors.
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.
This story originally published on Mashable here.