The majority of this week’s startups focus on connections and serve as tools for facilitating these connections between travelers, the traveler community, or locals.
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>> HelloShift is a web application that helps hotel staff and managers communicate service issues, assign tasks, create checklists, and keep tabs on progress. The app can be used on mobile for mobile management. The San Francisco-based startup was founded by professionals with experience in enterprise software and the travel industry.
SkiftTake: Technology is radically changing the hotel experience and has the potential to significantly improve the back-end of hotel’s operations. HelloShift is one tool that makes the change possible to hotels still learning to adopt such technology.
>> Small Map is a social platform where travelers and locals can post and share their travel experiences and advice. The startup plans to make money by providing a platform where locals can lend services including tours and car rentals to travelers.
SkiftTake: Social networks created exclusively for the travel community have often failed to gain traction as many travelers rely on already existent social networks and connections for advice. Creating a local-to-traveler exchange platform is a smarter place to start.
>> Horizon is an app that finds travelers a place to stay within their existing friend and professional networks. Users login through Facebook, turn on the groups and communities to which they want to belong, search for the city they are traveling to and request to stay with a host. Horizon is part of the Start-Up Chile company.
SkiftTake: Horizon’s focus on users’ existing communities and mobile-first strategy is a smart differentiator, but it will need to still acquire enough users to make it possible for users to find friends in their new destination.
>> AirZolo is a social network created to helps travelers make connections on the road. Users can find out who is on their flight, connect with other users in a destination, and use the platform to find out about new events and destinations.
SkiftTake: Although the app is well-designed and easy to use, it is unlikely to attract a large mass of users that would make it useful in the long-term.
>> Travelog is a free Singapore-based app that provides recommendations, reviews and suggestions for travel in 11 Asian cities. Content is a mix of original articles and social updates and reviews from Foursquare, Expedia and Google Reviews.
SkiftTake: Travelog’s focus exclusively on urban destinations in Asia and its multiple sources of information and reviews makes its a great tool for researching that area in particular.