DealBase.com, an online database devoted to aggregating hotel deals and packages, has secured $1 million in Series A funding from angel investors including Russ Siegelman, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Bob Zipp, managing director of Amicus Capital; and Josh Hannah, general partner at Matrix Partners and former CEO of eHow.com.
Launched in November 2008, DealBase crawls the web to create a database of hotel deals, special offers and packages, which currently number more than 22,000 deals, from over 3,500 sources, adding up to $4,660,093 in total savings on the site. The online travel industry is a competitive market chock full of sites that find consumer deals for travel, which makes the popularity contest incredibly tough. Expedia, Kayak, Travelzoo and others all offer packages and deals through their platforms and have a dedicated user base.
What makes DealBase’s site slightly more unique is its “Deal Analyzer” functionality that compares deal prices to regular prices, and then rates the deal for travelers so they can determine if they’re getting a good deal or not. Sam Shank, founder of DealBase, says that 15 percent of deals on the site have negative savings. But Microsoft-owned Farecast, a travel site focused in finding deals for hotels and air travel, also has a feature that measures how well-priced the hotel is compared to its original pricing and other hotels. The main difference is that Farecast doesn’t limit its search to just deals and packages while DealBase only lists deals and special promotions for hotels.
Shank also maintains that since DealBase lets any hotels post advertisements for free, with no advertising deals, the process is transparent and hotels have more of an incentive in the current economy to post a deal for free. Currently, DealBase features over 500 deals for New York City Hotels while Travelzoo lists only 7 deals. Expedia also features nearly 500 deals for hotels in New York. If DealBase’s database has the same reach and information of more established sites like Expedia, that could be a good sign.
Shank’s previous startup, TravelPost, was one of the larger hotel review sites in the US and was acquired by SideStep, a comprehensive travel deal search engine. SideStep was then acquired by competitor Kayak in December 2007 for $180 million.