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Your Virtual Travel Concierge Has Arrived : Mobissimo CEO Beatrice Tarka (Part 3)

Posted on Thursday, Apr 17th 2008

SM: What is the value proposition of Mobissimo?

BT: We find the cheapest airfares and we find the best international fares. To synthesize, we simplify the search process by querying multiple Web sites in real time and deliver information that is highly valuable to the user. We make it easier for people to travel.

SM: What differentiates you from your competition?

BT: The first differentiator is our superior technology platform. Our core search engine is our own development, not third-party technology such as Kayak’s. Our technology is based on years of research experience in information extraction, integration, data mining and search technology conducted at Stanford.

Second, we provide innovative products and features that improve the travel search experience for consumers and drive higher conversion rates for our suppliers. We pioneered OneBox Search which is natural language search feature which allows a user to enter itinerary information directly in a single search box without filling out online forms. A user just types in the departure city, the destination, and the dates directly in the search field. You can do it just like this: “San Francisco to Rome March 18-28”. You can type any combination you like and you don’t have to know the airport abbreviation to launch your search.

Another distinguishing feature is ActivitySearch, our theme-based travel planning tool that mirrors the way consumers think while making travel plans and reveals many more travel choices than the user may initially think of trying. Just enter your departure city and then pick from a category such as “skiing”, “beaches” or even “wine-tasting” and reserve the trip that corresponds to your budget and your interests.

We also offer a targeted in-house advertising platform that allows the suppliers to target audiences by destination and dates. When a customer clicks on the ad the search is performed immediately.

SM: I have noticed you have some very interesting user personalization features as well.

BT: In February we launched a new version of Mobissimo that allows users to personalize the way their travel page looks and we’ve added travel-related content such as weather, photos from Flickr, and other destination information. It is an interface that synchronizes and updates with each user’s search.

SM: Is your sweet spot in international or domestic travel?

BT: Mobissimo’s can handle both, but the sweet spot is out international expertise. No other metasearch engine brings such a broad selection of travel suppliers simultaneously into one place, available with one click.

Today, Mobissimo is the undisputed international travel search expert because we cover more low-cost airlines such as RyanAir and JetBlue, as well as foreign consolidators such as LessNo, MakeMyTrip, and GoVoyages, than our three main competitors combined. We operate six local Web sites in North America, France, UK, India, Poland, and Spain and we’ll be expanding our offering in APAC.

SM: Do you offer page-rank advertising to your suppliers?

BT: No because we prefer to maintain objectivity. We don’t charge travel suppliers to be listed in the top results of our search engine and because of that we remain the only completely objective travel search engine. That is supremely valuable to our customers.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Your Virtual Travel Concierge Has Arrived : Mobissimo CEO Beatrice Tarka
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