Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeTravelDirecto emerges from stealth with $1M in funding

Directo emerges from stealth with $1M in funding

Directo has landed $1 million in pre-seed funding for its browser extension-based business that aims to drive direct bookings for hotels and accommodation providers and help travelers access better deals.

The investment in the Spain-based business comes from Kima Ventures, Derive Ventures (part of Thayer), female technology angel investors’ group Calafia and 26 industry veterans.

The startup is co-founded by Pierre Becerril, formerly co-founder and CEO of Transparent, a short-term rental data business acquired by Lighthouse in 2022.

Becerril, who is co-CEO alongside Marina Guastavino, said the business has been in stealth mode for about eight months and has amassed about 100,000 users. The two are joined as co-founders by chief technology officer Julian Toledo.

Becerril described Directo as a travel club for users to access hotel deals while browsing.

“It starts as a chrome extension to be installed in one click. It helps folks find inventory they can book without commission. It’s a behavior that a lot of travelers already do,” he said.

He also said that while browser extensions are popular in other retail areas, travel is a “big white space” and therefore represents a big opportunity.

“We were surprised with the level of engagement from users and the extension format matches really well that kind of behavior. It doesn’t matter when it converts, we can be relevant across the whole search,” he said.

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