Stealth travel search engine Everbread de-cloaks to tackle core airline problem

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Everbread, a new travel search startup, is de-cloaking out of stealth today. The startup has put into alpha testing a new search platform that claims to be substantially faster than traditional travel search engines. It’s also doing something unusual – integrating a number of low cost airline carriers. Normally customers must go to these individually as the big travel search engines are usually locked out.

Everbread’s proprietary B2B fares and pricing engine, Haystack, is going to be aimed at airlines, online travel agencies, and travel consortia to let them offer cheaper fares on a greater number of flights. So, for example, you could create a trip which involves flying a major airline to London and then hopping on a low cost airline for that last leg in Europe. That’s significant and it’s not something you can do right now with one engine. It means the travel portals which Everbread signs deals with could potentially combine special deals and last minute offers they have negotiated with specific airlines.

Everbread is running a showcase called Flydini.com which is not a live site allowing bookings but a demo for the travel industry.

The company is based in London but, in a quintessential European startup model, its core team of 30+ developers are actually based in Sophia, Bulgaria.

Finance-wise it’s privately backed by two angels. But perhaps most interestingly the CEO is one Morten Lund, who resurfaced recently as an advisor to another startup, Tradeshift. Lund is still in a personal bankruptcy period, but, he tells me, he is a “hired gun” for Everbread rather than having a stake, which is currently forbidden under the terms of his bankruptcy. Lund famously backed Skype in the early days and online stockbroker Zecco. [He’ll be speaking at GeeknRolla]. The rest of the consists of Assen Vassilev, a former founder and CEO of an online travel portal and a Harvard grad; CTO Ashley Raiteri, a former rocket scientist for the United States Defense and Aerospace Industry and COO Alexander Staun.

We’ve also learned that Everbread is working in close cooperation with Ypsilon.net in the German market which delivers internet booking engines to 88,000 websites in Germany, and working on a number of deals with large online travel agencies and meta-search players.

The company has attracted an experienced board. Vagn Sorensen is a former CEO of Austrian Airlines, Montie Brewer is former CEO of Air Canada and Michael Jackson is a former CTO of Skype. Obviously you don’t do that without attracting attention and I gather the movement of these guys to Everbread are rippling though the travel industry right now.

Lund told me: “Airlines and Online Travel Agencies are cold-calling us. Everbread is the deepest and most hardcore technology I have ever been involved with.” Heavy words, but if it works Everbread could solve one of the core problems with the the $2 trillion travel industry.

The timing is significant. Google is rumoured to be working on dedicated Travel search engine and it’s been spotted testing hotel prices in Google Maps. It is also understood to be looking at acquisitions in travel search.

One of Google’s possibly targets could be ITA Software. In the US the company now powers several airline websites and Orbitz for their US domestic traffic. However, ITA has been largely unsuccessful in solving the more complicated problem of international search and has not integrated any of the low cost carriers.

If that acquisition does happen – and we hear it’s on the cards – Microsoft’s Bing (which has a referral deal with Orbitz) would end up being powered by Google-owned search technology on their US domestic airfare queries. Quite an interesting situation.

Travel search technology is notoriously expensive to develop. Most travel search worldwide is handled by three “GDCs” or Global Distribution Companies – Travelport, Sabre and Amadeus. These power the most popular websites (Travelocity, Last Minute.com, Orbitz and Expedia). The search they provide is quite expensive, still mostly run on mainframes and is under a lot of financial pressure from people shopping around at the same time as a downturn in travel purchasing.

  • AnnLi

    THATS what the travel world needs. Amadues and Sabre is ripping of every single airline – and they have dos promt UI.

    I hope Mr. Lund is kicking their balls.

  • http://www.tnooz.com Kevin May

    Mike – extremely interesting.

    One point to raise is that, yes, while previously low cost carriers were reluctant to work with travel search engines, almost all are now the systems on sites such as Kayak, Skyscanner, Travelsupermarket, Fly.com et al.

    They have finally seen that there is value to be had from being included alongside other carriers, many of which have cheap fares on similar routes.

    This includes the notoriously protective Ryanair and EasyJet, the latter having signed content (fares) distribution deals with the GDSs (Global Distribution Systems) for corporate travel.

  • backpacker

    Awesome! So now I can book all the tix I see, instead of getting an error message. Go Lund!

  • Oz

    Hey Mike, you wrote quite a lot but its still rather hard to figure out what they do and how they do it.

    Can you try giving an example for a solution that they provide, because the sample site provided (Flydini) is nothing but a well designed flight schedule.

  • You're Wrong

    Incorrect, http://www.dohop.com/ does this already

    • http://www.everbread.com Ashley Raiteri

      “You’reWrong” Isn’t entirely wrong, and we think DoHop is a nice product. It’s a lot like what flydini.com would be if we added some pricing info to it. Further, you won’t find anyone from Everbread making any critical comments of the products in the Travel Space. The fact of the matter is, getting the Travel Search thing done well is not a simple problem. There are at least 4 Ginormous companies devoting armies of developers and customer support staff just trying to maintain the status quo.

      Having developed a simple, accurate, hi-performance, linearly scalable technical solution to the data portion of the problem is only one part of the equation, although, its a part that we’re confident we have done well. Putting that together with a Business and Product Management team is an equally important part, and I’m grateful everyday for our fantastic partners and new customers.
      We’ll be posting more info soon about how we do what we do, and where traveller’s can “see” it at work. Follow @everbread on twitter to find out when.

  • http://azitravel.com/blog/2010/03/burstoftraveltechfromtc/ Travel Search Engine, Yahoo Map, Hotel Prices Map, Travel Recomm. | Azitravel

    […] Stealth travel search engine Everbread de-cloaks to tackle core airline problem Everbread, a new travel search startup, is de-cloaking out of stealth today. The startup has put into alpha testing a new search platform that claims to be substantially faster than traditional travel search engines. It’s also doing something unusual – integrating a number of low cost airline carriers. Normally customers must go to these individually as the big travel search engines are usually locked out. […]

  • http://blogtronix.com Vassil R Mladjov

    Mike, there is some more interesting dirt around these guys, I will email you some info tomorrow ;)

    • Vicky Richards

      Are you able to provide more details?

  • Starsky

    Here we go again. Mr Butcher seduced by a shiny new toy. Everbread is stale. Upon close scrutiny, it looks just like a Momondo or Dohop wannabe company. The venture stands out for its first class hype, second rate management team, third rate technology.

    • http://www.everbread.com Ashley Raiteri

      “Starksky” – Re: Here we go again…I’d say the most relevant portion of this Blog post concerns Google vis-a-vis their entry into the Travel Space. It’s an event that everyone predicts, many consumers dream of and many in the industry dread.

      Consumers dream of it because Google has proven time and again that they know how to do interesting things with data for consumer benefit. Unfortunately, in this Industry, even Google doesn’t control the data. It’s not user generated. For most Major Carriers, It’s delivered from 3 Primary sources; IATA, OAG & ATPCO. Doing a proper job of combining these sources with other data and producing relevant flights & fares is key.

      Re: Momondo and Dohop, Everbread looks forward to the day that these Meta Search engines do an even better job of doing what they do with the data provided by Haystack instead of their current sources.

      • Starsky

        Re Ashley R.’s comment: this does not deal with the real problem of everbread. first, any software is just a commodity until it delivers cash returns. right now flydini is only an expensive hobby for your investors. second, a company founded and led by a formerly famous entrepreneur is not enough to drive success. Rock star founders and CEOs may open doors and attract lots of media attention, but the company still has to execute. And lastly, as we speak the incumbents are developing the exact same next generation platform everbread claims to be cobbling together. So good night and good luck.

  • http://www.Everbread.com Ashley Raiteri

    The comments regarding flydini.com are correct. As CTO, I can tell you this was a 2 day project we did before we even got started just to look at how OAG (flight scheduling) really works. Neither flydini.com nor Haystack our propietary search engine are Consumer products. Therefore most Tech Crunch readers will not have visibility into the complexity of the problem or the simplicity of our solution.

    Consumers will begin to see this effect as we roll out our solution to the websites that they know and use regularly. No matter how excellent these companies are at building fantastic User Experience, travel will always be a frustrating endeavour if the data is bad.

    What we have done will free our customers from the curse of Bad Data and enable them to focus on giving traveller’s the same friction free user experience they have come to expect from the internet.

    • Henry Harteveldt

      Mr. Raiteri, if you’d like to brief me I’d be interested in learning more.

  • http://www.virtualwayfarer.com @AlexBerger

    A very exciting development. I’m eager to see what they bring to the table. From the consumer side of things, it’s extremely frustrating trying to juggle a search which puts user need first and foremost and which is able to wrap around more flexible user’s needs.

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  • http://www.farecompare.com Rick Seaney

    I recently saw a note that ITA has 50+% market share in the US and I suspect a statement like “ITA has been largely be unsuccessful on solving international search” might have them bristling (although it is correct that many low cost carriers do not currently distribute airfare data via ATPCO or SITA – but this will change for larger LCC’s as they seek broader distribution in their growth strategy).

    I am curious if this anything more than the Ypsilon system they have been working on for almost a decade which integrates a variety of GDS along with a side database of negotiated fares for agencies and scraping (or APIing) of low cost carriers done by several meta-searchers.

    Is this truly trying to be a competitor for ITA and GDS by licensing the multi-million dollar/yr feeds from ATPCO and SITA?

    Or are they trying to compete with the likes of TravelFusion (http://www.travelfusion.com/site/about.jsp)?

    So many questions so few answers for a de-cloaked entity …

    • http://www.everbread.com Ashley Raiteri

      Mr Seaney , send me a note with some contact info, and we’ll set you up with private access to the working Demonstration site so you can play around and judge for yourself.

  • Guillaume

    Let’s hope that Everbread will be the first Travel search engine to include the FULL price of the so called “Low cost” tickets.

    I mean by that:
    Flight ticket + Cost of Checking in a luggage + the cost of choosing your seat + the cost of insurance + the cost of processing + the cost for using a Credit Card….

    And actually, booking a transatlantic flight to London to then fly low cost intra-europe is something that I wouldn’t recommend at all !

    The economy made versus the hassle of getting your luggages, changing terminal, checking in again and having a max weight inferior to the one you had on your transatlantic flight is just simply not worth bothering.

  • http://www.routerank.com Jochen Mundinger

    Interesting article and developments, and curious to see what the impact might be on actual travel search (as opposed to flight search), i.e. search for the entire travel route, across rail, road and air connections.

    Some of routeRANK’s travel search versions have their flight connections run on schedule-only data, some on GDS data and others on flight search.

  • http://www.liligo.com Jeremy

    Interesting post! And yet another travel search engine appearing on the market! I’d be interested in seeing how it turns out: high-speed, including low cost airlines, allowing you to search for trips with more than one airline… Isn’t it all about what lots of players are doing on the travel search engine market today?

    Even more interesting is Google slowly coming, approaching…

  • http://www.travelfusion.com Travelfusion

    Interesting new development! I did want to mention that Travelfusion has in fact been working with Low Cost Carriers for years to provide this valuable content to our B2B and now B2C clients.

    In a grand coincidence, we have launched our new site design and interface just this afternoon, integrating these low cost carriers into our search results as usual, as well as integrating our social media efforts and other new features into the site.

    Please have a look – http://www.travelfusion.com and feel free to come back to me with any questions about our products and services!

  • http://blog.alessiosignorini.com Alessio

    I wrote about those opportunities, and how useful would be to have an API for low-cost airlines, in my post of last year


  • http://www.lowratetravel.net Low Rate Travel

    In a piano conjunction, we jazz launched our new situation arrangement and interface righteous this afternoon, desegregation these low outlay carriers into our hunt results as habitual, as fountainhead as integrating our interpersonal media efforts and another new features into the parcel.

    • http://www.iconfinder.net Martin LeBlanc, Iconfinder.com

      Well put, Ms. Low Rate Travel!

    • http://www.iconfinder.net Martin LeBlanc, Iconfinder.com

      Well put, Ms. Low Rate Travel!

  • http://www.ge.com Jack Welch

    I am sorry, but Morten Lund is not the right guy to be CEO of this company.

    In actual fact, if you look very close at Mr Lund’s credentials, he has never actually made a success of any business or company that he worked at/in any operational role.


    He blew all his money that he made from Skype on a free newspaper… with Skype he was in the right place at the right time.

    This guy touts himself as a “entrepreneur”. He speaks at many events around Europe – for apparently 10,000 Euro a go… but what value does his raving have, exactly?

    Everbread sounds like a sound idea. It definitely makes sense to aggregate more search items which should in theory lower costs/prices….

    However, given Mr Lund’s track record in operational roles… I think the company should hire someone with real operational experience as their CEO. And not someone that likes them look of themselves and dribbles on at tech conferences around the world about nothing in particular.

  • http://travelguy.info/2010/07/12/the-best-travel-search-engines/ Top Travel Search Engines | TravelGuy.info

    […] Stealth travel search engine Everbread de-cloaks to tackle core … […]

  • http://www.quora.com/What-interesting-new-applications-or-sites-are-being-built-around-travel#ans131446 What interesting new applications or sites are being built around travel? - Quora

    […] at the company.)Insert a dynamic date here  Christian Lanng Check everbread.com http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/03…Insert a dynamic date here BIU     @   @ ReferenceEdit […]

  • compark compark

    Nice post

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