There is no shortage of sites that help you book your travel, whether it be Expedia or Orbitz or Priceline. But the inspiration for that travel often comes from content created by travel experts in the media business.
Curacity, a new startup formed by EveryDay Health cofounder Michael Keriakos, aims to change that with a fresh $2.2 million seed round, led by Greycroft. SBNY, Pinnacle Investment and Third Point Capital (and Keriakos himself) also participated in the round.
“I booked a trip a few years ago and used a specific travel guide, which catalyzed the inspiration for pretty much everything,” said Keriakos. “But I booked through one of the travel sites and realized that the media company that had given me all those great ideas was getting pennies on the dollar, while the travel site was making hundreds.”
So Keriakos set out to build something different, letting media sites that put in the grueling work to review and create content around these destinations have their own booking portal for travelers.
It started by building a framework for travel bookings, which are highly complicated and often too expensive and complex for media companies to undertake on their own. Curacity acquired technology assets from members-only hotel startup WantMeGetMe to help build that backend.
From there, Curacity plans to partner directly with focused media brands who are already creating content around travel destinations.
The first partner in this journey is Surface Magazine, a property focused heavily on design. As part of the partnership, Curacity develops its own website where Surface content will not only be featured, but be entirely searchable by the user, with its own booking portal.
By curating the 1,000 top design hotels in the world, Surface can capture some of the spend from the consumer that was originally catalyzed by their own content.
But Surface is just the first partner for Curacity. The platform looks to build out a food-based travel site and a business travel site in the coming months, through partnerships with media properties that create content for those verticals.
“You could think of Curacity as a white-label solution,” said Keriakos. “Media companies don’t want to build out this technology themselves, but they want to be able to easily pair their curated content with this type of booking portal, and that’s what we provide.”
Curacity is focused on the top 10 percent to 20 percent of the market, putting the emphasis on customers who are looking for something special rather than worrying about price.
You can check out Surface Hotels at the website here.