FareChase has secured $5 million in funding for its Web-enabled search engine, which allows for real-time comparison shopping across travel Web sites.
The funding will help the York-based ASP and technology provider foster its growth as a B2B company and the licensing of its Web site enhancing tools.
“As the leading automated Web technology for e-travel aggregation, our business model is to provide a powerful tool to integrate with other e-travel sites, providers and portals, empowering them to offer a new level of service and value to their users,” said Lior Delgo, FareChase`s CEO and co-founder.
Deutsche Asset Management, an affiliate of Deutsche Bank Private Equity Fund, is leading a $5 million round of financing by providing $3 million and negotiating for the balance. This $5 million round of equity for FareChase supplements the $1.4 million it raised in 1999 for R&D and to launch the beta version of its Web site in September 2000. The original funds were raised from private investors.
“FareChase`s search engine is a new technology which represents a paradigm shift for the e-travel industry,” said David West Smith of Deutsche Asset Management. “At a time when venture capital firms are cautious, we are confident that FareChase`s business plan makes sense, and that its value proposition has great potential for the travel industry.”
Ofer Shaked, FareChase`s co-founder and CTO, said that funds also will be used to improve and update FareChase`s proprietary software.
“This will give us the capability of making “Powered by FareChase” an industry standard,” he said. ” By applying real-time data mining and analysis capabilities, we have the ability to shape our software for our e-travel industry clients` specifications. And, by adding new e-tools to our Software Development Kit (SDK), we offer clients and partners a flexible way to customize the search engine to their own business model.”
Delgo also announced the completion of FareChase`s new search engine. The new search engine includes a new site design and proprietary user-friendly features. The most dramatic new option is FareChase`s MSS Technology, which allows users to make multiple simultaneous searches for air, hotel and auto rentals. Users can conduct an unlimited amount of searches simultaneously.
FareChase will use the Deutsche Asset Management funds to increase the new search engine`s horsepower, and to aggressively pursue business opportunities in the online travel industry.
FareChase currently employs 70 Web site adapters, which enable the search for flights, hotels and car rentals. Among the sites FareChase currently searches are: American Airlines, Continental, Northwest, ATA, Uniglobe, Lowestfare.com
, Hotwire, Orbitz, OneTravel.com
, HotelDiscounts, PlacesToStay, Travelnow, Holiday Inn and DiscountCars.net
. FareChase expects to increase its coverage to 80 Web sites adapters this month, according to Delgo.
“FareChase`s value proposition for the e-travel industry is that it has the only technology capable of large-scale searching of travel inventory subject to availability, and that it`s the only search engine that normalizes data and allows for comparisons,” said Delgo. “With our enhanced technology, we can offer multiple simultaneous searches for air, hotel and auto rentals, and a true booking solution. With a click, users are sent directly to the booking page of the e-travel site offering the best fares and availabilities.”