Back in July 2009 we wrote about a Y Combinator-funded startup called FlightCaster that looks to help you predict flight delays — before the airline even tells you about them. The service looks at air traffic, weather, and a variety of other factors to predict these delays, and the early warning can be very helpful if you need to book a different flight.
Today, the startup is announcing that it’s been acquired by Next Jump, a large company that powers reward programs for 90,000 companies, including MasterCard’s MarketPlace. That seems like a strange fit given FlightCaster’s original mission, but things make a bit more sense when you look at what FlightCaster has been up to in the last year.
In a blog post announcing the news, FlightCaster says that while it’s been working on improving its flight delay predictions, it’s also been hammering away behind the scenes on a different problem: saving people money on their flights:
The biggest item in production over the last year is an engine for travel discounts. We realized early in 2010 that helping travelers and businesses save on travel is as important as helping them get to their destination on-time. As we really dug into this space, we met the team at Next Jump and were blown away about their insights into discounts.
Note that despite the apparently different focus, Next Jump has indeed acquired FlightCaster’s technology (as well as most of its team). The price of the deal wasn’t disclosed. FlightCaster’s existing service will remain available on FlightCaster.com, and the company is also making its mobile applications (which were previously paid apps) free.
Flightcaster had raised a total of $800,000.
FlightCaster predicts flight delays. FlightCaster can predict your probability of delay hours before the airline or any other app notifies you. FlightCaster uses a patent-pending algorithm that scours data on every domestic flight for the past 10-years and matches it to real-time conditions.
Headquartered in New York City, Next Jump is building the next generation of e-commerce and advertising technology, and revolutionizing the way consumers and marketers interact online. The company has created the most powerful technology engine for sales achieving the highest conversion rates of browsers to buyers. Over 28,000 merchant partners, both retailers and manufacturers, leverage Next Jump’s technology, to create the most targeted, cost-effective and measurable campaigns to reach more than 100 million users. Next Jump acquires its users...