Elude wants to be the next generation travel app

Frequent traveler, Alex Simon has noticed that many booking services focus too much on the transaction and not focus on how individual users like to travel.

“Everyone travels differently,” he said. “(With) Amazon, you can see the different products that you might like versus someone else. But when it comes to travel, it’s pretty straightforward.”

It was the inspiration behind Elude. Simon, CEO of Elude, co-founded the company and builds his IOS app with a set of AI and Tinder-like features designed to create a personalized travel booking experience for price-conscious millennials and Gen Z.

The Los Angeles-based company on Thursday announced the launch of the app that allows users to find travel and book hotels and flights, along with $ 2.1 million in seed funding led by Mucker Capital and Unicorn Ventures.

The app will launch during a time of upheaval for the travel industry. The U.S. travel industry – which lost $ 500 billion in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – while expected to make gains in 2021, is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 according to the US Travel Association.

Continuing travel restrictions due to the surge in the delta variant of COVID-19 also add a layer of uncertainty for travel.

But even so, Elude is optimistic that he will always find success in part because his target demographic – millennials and younger people – are more willing to travel during the pandemic.

“The first in line at airports is definitely our generation looking to escape,” said Simon. “And so I think this will help our cases as we enter the market.”

Elude hopes to focus on personalization in the travel technology industry with features that allow the app to determine the types of trips that individual users enjoy.

“If you like long flights and you like beaches, let’s say showcasing Thailand makes the most sense,” Simon said.

The company’s app is billing itself as one of the first price-driven travel apps. Users enter their budget first and see the types of trips they can afford, rather than having to enter a destination and get paid.

“With a few clicks on the app, you know exactly what you can afford and see some really awesome options,” said Frankie Scerbo, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer. “Okay, I can go to Miami for $ 400. But wait, I can go to Barcelona for the same price.”

For now, the app only offers bookings through hotels, although the company hopes to include Airbnb-style alternative accommodation listings in the future.

Elude will also enter a crowded travel app market that includes apps like Expedia and Priceline. But he’s hedging his bets on the personalization feature that will pay off in the long run. Scerbo said he wanted Elude to capitalize on people’s desire to leave their homes.

“People are really hungry to travel,” he said. “They want to go out and discover the world again – we’ve all been in the same walls for over a year.”

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