Realtime booking platform BookingBug exits beta with partners and smart affiliate model

[UK] Online booking and reservation system BookingBug has left beta, been given a new look and announced a raft of new partners, including the UK’s Trusted Places and voucher and discount search engine BView.

BookingBug enables businesses to share their availability – by hour, day, week or as classes, courses or events – and take bookings and enquiries online. The system is both realtime and distributed: BookingBug provides booking and enquiry widgets that businesses can embed onto their own sites, or those of their affiliate partners and through social media.

We recently profiled competitor Bookfresh but this site is a lot more limited in terms of the number of businesses it can be used for (they only work for small one-man-bands offering minutes/hour based services). BookingBug has the potential to scale across a much broader range of service businesses. Bookfresh also lacks BookingBug’s affiliate program angle which lets destination sites earn revenue for showing bookings for businesses that are relevant to their market. Libersy is another competitor, but this too lacks the innovative affiliates model.

Letting businesses push their services and availability to major destination sites – and in front of many more eyeballs – where they can also close a sale by taking actual bookings is the real pull for BookingBug and, inevitably, how the company hopes to make money. The site, in part, charges per-booking.

Here’s the full list of partners announced today:

  • TrustedPlaces, user-generated local reviews.
  • BView, the UK’s largest voucher, sale and discount search engine.
  • SchoolOfEverything, a website that helps users find teachers and lessons local to them.
  • SocialGo, allows its users to create a social networking website and start building an online community in minutes.
  • QuickTV, enables users to create dynamic videos in order to increase client engagement.
  • FoodLoversBritain, a searchable database of nearly 4000 places to buy, eat, visit, stay and learn.
  • Kashflow, an accounting application for small business owners.

Last month we reported on an additional partnership (which appears to have been re-announced today) with Brownbook, the wiki-style business directory that lists 27 million business globally. At the time we described the deal as evidence that BookingBug was “poised for some traction” and today’s full launch and new partnerships certainly point in that direction.