AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WayBlazer, a leader in intelligent discovery for the travel and leisure industry, today announced it has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by The Entrepreneurs’ Fund (TEF) and IBM, with participation from Gobi Partners. The investment will allow the company to expand the development of its growing catalog of travel discovery solutions, accelerate sales and speed the delivery of their solutions into the marketplace.
Founded in February 2014, the privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and is led by seasoned travel and technology entrepreneurs, which include Terry Jones, WayBlazer chairman, founder of Travelocity, founding chairman of Kayak.com and, Felix Laboy, CEO and previous president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, co-founder of E-site Marketing, a preeminent hospitality Internet marketing service company acquired by Sabre Holdings. To date, WayBlazer has been focused on gaining customer adoption and validating the company’s innovative vision for personalized travel discovery solutions across major brands in hotels, cruises, travel publications and destination marketing organizations.
“We believe that WayBlazer has an excellent vision and great momentum in the travel industry,” said Jeff Webber, managing director at The Entrepreneurs’ Fund. “Their leadership team has what it takes to scale the company quickly to keep up with their growing customer base.”
The first IBM Watson Ecosystem Partner focused on travel solutions, WayBlazer delivers contextual, personalized advice and insights for consumers across all phases of travel, from inspiration to transaction. Utilizing the cognitive computing power of IBM Watson, WayBlazer has the unique ability to interact in natural language, process and understand vast and disparate forms of big data to transform the way travelers seek advice with a travel discovery experience that can be individualized for every user, every time.
“WayBlazer is a great example of the breakthrough innovation we have seen from our partners who are building a new class of cognitive computing solutions powered by Watson,” said Stephen Gold, vice president, IBM Watson. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with WayBlazer to help them transform the way people experience travel planning.”
“This company is forging a path that may dramatically change the way that the travel industry operates. By introducing innovation solutions into the sector, WayBlazer is able to increase customer satisfaction while also ensuring increased bookings and revenue for travel service providers,” remarked Thomas G. Tsao, managing partner at Gobi Partners.
WayBlazer is bringing to market a travel and hospitality inspiration, recommendation and planning platform that provides the travel industry with the ability to deliver more personalized, relevant and valuable travel information to consumers by transforming the way travelers seek advice. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas and is led by seasoned travel and technology entrepreneurs, including the founder of Travelocity and founding chairman of Kayak.com.
WayBlazer’s technology platform is powered by IBM Watson and utilizes a new technology known as cognitive computing to streamline the online travel research, planning and booking process, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenues. For more information, please visit http://www.wayblazer.com and follow WayBlazer on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.