A few months ago, Sarah wrote about group-buying travel site Jetsetter.com, arguing that it solves a ‘big problem’ in hotel booking. After the post went live, she received plenty of feedback suggesting other sites to look at, but one came up time and time again: Oyster.com.
Founded in 2008 by Elie Seidman and Ariel Charytan, Oyster is – essentially – a curated version of Trip Advisor. Focusing on Hotels in major US cities, Oyster sends real-life reviewers to each property in the hope that users will come to trust a professional editorial voice over the crowd-sourced opinions of user-generated rivals.
Now the NY-based company is about to start raising a series B round. We invited Seidman to join us on this week’s episode of ‘Why Is This News?’ to explain what the funding is going to be used for, and also to defend a costly editorial operation in a market where user generated views are king.
(After which we spent five minutes discussing room service)