With so many sites out there acting as a portal for helping you to book your next vacation, it can be difficult for new entrants to this market to find a unique angle and gain traction. For Swedish startup Owegoo, this includes providing search-filters that cannot necessarily be found on other services.
On one hand, Owegoo functions as a traditional trip-booking portal, offering a way to book flights, accommodations, and cars for your next trip. I did a search for Johannesburg and found that you can search by date (or not, if you don’t know when you will be going), by type of trip (work or leisure), and the number of people going, which brings up a list of options. From there, it is possible to filter them down by rating, price, review-level (number of stars from customers), type (apartment, hotel, villa, etc.), amenities inside the room and in the building, hotel chain, hotel theme (romance/honeymoon, spa, city trip, etc.), or district. There is no shortage of filter options here.
But Owegoo seems to stand apart by offering a search function that allows users to type in activities and receive a list of relevant major vacation spots. My search for “jet skiing”, for example, brought up a handful of locations around the globe, including cities in Greece, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and the United States .What is interesting is that they allow you to filter down potential destinations by choosing a month, maximum/minimum temperatures, and maximum distance from your starting point. Thus, if you are interested in doing jet skiing, for example, but do not want to go somewhere that is too far from home or a bit too hot, they offer a way to find some more suitable locations.
Owegoo launched the beta version of their service in March 2014 and then exited that phase in December. They are reluctant to reveal how many users they have or the identities of their investors, but would say that they have $95K in seed funding from Sweden-based angels. They are keeping quiet about specific plans for the company, but founder Sofia Franzen says that they intend to work on “new features that will enable our users to integrate more with the site” and that we will have more details soon.