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Utrip Welcomes Oren Etzioni to Advisory Board and Inks New Partnerships with Yelp, viagogo, Viator, and Others
SEATTLE, WA – April 16th, 2013 – Utrip, the world’s most sophisticated travel-planning platform, is thrilled to announce that Oren Etzioni has joined its Board of Advisors. Taking another important step in offering a complete, personalized trip-planning experience, Utrip also signed new strategic partnerships with six of the top social travel companies and travel-planning service providers: viagogo, Foursquare, Viator, Eyewitness, Yelp, and Rome2Rio.
Etzioni is a world renowned expert in artificial intelligence and a seasoned entrepreneur. He joins Utrip’s advisory board to lend a hand with the algorithms that make Utrip great. “Our revolutionary trip-planning tool helps travelers easily create personalized itineraries that include all of their favorite things,” said Gilad Berenstein, CEO and founder of Utrip. “We are truly honored to have such a terrific and dedicated advisor. With an eye for AI and a Midas touch, Etzioni’s advice and guidance will help shape Utrip as we continue to deliver the best travel experiences to travelers.”
Last summer Utrip debuted its web application with a goal to provide a simple solution to the difficult challenge faced by modern travelers: how to plan a highly personalized trip without spending excessive time and money. Since the February launch of Utrip 1.1, the latest version of its proprietary algorithms, Utrip has been exploring partnership opportunities to continue it to bridge the massively fragmented travel market and to bring even more value to users.
Today Utrip announced an exclusive partnership with the world’s largest ticket marketplace viagogo, further empowering travelers to plan their vacations around specific desires. The Utrip platform will recommend popular events such as soccer matches, music festivals, and other live performances tailored to the individual’s unique interests.
“We are delighted to be the exclusive ticketing partner of Utrip. We’re looking forward to working together to enable Utrip’s customers to plan their vacations around the live sports, music and theatre events they most want to see,” said Ed Parkinson, Head of Marketing at viagogo.
Utrip also announced partnerships with five other major travel companies in addition to its current partnerships with Expedia and HostelBookers. Through adding venue information, photos, and customer reviews from Yelp and Foursquare, Utrip will help users make more informed and confident bookings and travel planning decisions. Travelers headed to Europe can now discover and book activities from Viator’s inventory for their trips directly on Utrip.com. Last but not least, in order to enhance user experience and travel planning efficiency, Utrip licenses technology from the multimodal transport search engine Rome2Rio and first-hand travel information and guides from Eyewitness, the New York Times bestselling publisher DK’s travel guides.
“We are pleased to be selected as an initial partner of Utrip”, said Ken Frohling, Vice President of Business Development of Viator. “The tools and information Utrip provides empower travelers to create unique and personal experiences incorporating our products alongside other great travel products.”
“We’re very excited about working with our new partners as we’re taking a huge step in the direction towards making our platform the one stop trip-planning tool for travelers headed to Europe,” said Berenstein. “As our Series A investment round approaches, this is just the first of many exciting announcements about key developments and new integrations.”
About Oren Etzioni
Etzioni chairs Madrona’s Technology Advisory Board and is a Professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering. He was the founder of Farecast, an airfare fluctuation predictor that was acquired by Microsoft in 2008 for $115 million. He is a co-founder at decide.com the venture-backed engine that leverages artificial intelligence to help people decide when to buy products.
Utrip.com is an interactive travel platform that allows users to plan, purchase, and share personalized travel experiences all in one place. The web start-up, founded in 2011, and headquartered in Seattle, WA aims to give every person the opportunity to discover the world for themselves. Utrip’s founding team is comprised of Gilad Berenstein, Edan Shahar, Yair Berenstein, and Bill Ritchey. Through their combined years of travel, technology and business experience, the Utrip team is now playing matchmaker between travelers’ personal interests and expert, first-hand knowledge of destinations around the world. To learn more about Utrip or to plan your next adventure, visit www.utrip.com.