Believe it or not, there’s still a part of online trip planning that hasn’t been done to death by industry leaders in travel like Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz and the like: it’s the part of the journey that involves finding and booking transportion between the airport and your final destination. Today, a startup called Mozio is launching a new travel search service that focuses specifically on that final mile of your trip.
Based in San Francisco, Mozio will initially use the Bay Area’s three airports (San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose) as its initial test market, allowing travelers to search for limos, taxis, shared-ride shuttles, rideshare and airporters that can take them to or from the airport. Using Mozio’s service, you can see the associated rates, trip times, routes, and in some cases, online booking is also offered.
“I came up with this idea when I was travelling abroad – I’ve been to 55 countries,” explains Mozio co-founder David Litwak, who built the company with fellow University of California Berkley grad, Joseph Metzinger. “I realized there were no true travel search engines – there were flight search engines. Everything single search company out there only does airport-to-airport search. They completely neglect buses, trains, ferries, and getting to and from the airport.”
And sometimes, that last leg of the trip can be pricey. Round-trip cab fare could end up being over $100, for example. That’s a significant enough amount of money that it would be helpful to know about the options you have in advance, in order to do full end-to-end trip planning.
Mozio has several formal partnerships with transportation providers, including Uber, GroundLink, Go Airlink, SuperShuttle, and Limos.com, which helps Mozio monetize via referral and booking fees. However, it has also built its own framework to support other transportation providers which don’t offer an API, like it would need to have for various city-specific providers.
Now that the framework is built, Mozio says that it only takes a day or two to bring another airport online. The company plans to be live in the top 20 markets by the end of the year, says Litwak.
Further down the road, Mozio may expand upon its consumer-facing product to introduce a ratings and reviews feature, or add more local options – such as info on where to get a local SIM card, for example. But the bigger business potential is in Mozio’s API, which Litwak says has already sparked interest over at TripAdvisor.
Mozio is only available via a website (mobile-optimized) for now, but iOS and Android apps are in the works. The company has raised $185,000 in seed funding so far and is still raising. Investors include Orbitz Chairman Jeff Clarke (who also invested in Sidecar and RidePal), Ryan Tu, Bradley Schwartz, and Amidzad Partners.