Layla, a travel discovery and booking app that launched
in November, has acquired Roam Around, an artificial intelligence-powered itinerary
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Layla is backed by three travel veterans – Andy Phillipps,
co-founder of Active Hotels, which became part of Booking.com; Barry Smith,
co-founder of Skyscanner; and Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Lastminute.com – as well
as celebrity Paris Hilton. The startup
announced a €3 million seed funding round when it launched.
Founded by Saad Saeed, co-founder of European grocery
delivery service Flink, and Jeremy Jauncey, creator of destination content
studio Beautiful Destinations, Layla uses short-form travel videos and
AI-driven language models to help users discover destinations and book trips,
including flights and hotels.
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Shie Gabbai, a former Google employee who worked on Waze, founded
Roam Around last year. In November Roam Around announced an investment – amount
not disclosed – and partnership with Flyr to bring AI-powered travel planning to
hotels and airlines. The company said more than 10 million itineraries have
been created using its system.
“Our acquisition of Roam Around underscores Layla’s
unwavering commitment to reimagining travel discovery through cutting-edge
technology,” Saeed said.
“By integrating Roam Around’s intelligent AI itinerary
technology into our platform, we aim to further progress the future of
travel planning and deliver exceptional value to our users.”
Gabbai will become chief operating officer of Layla, and the
other four Roam Around team members will also join the company.
“With Roam Around onboard, Layla is primed to
solidify its position as the leader in AI travel discovery,” Jauncey said. “Our goal is to
empower travelers with the tools they need to seamlessly translate social media
inspiration into unforgettable travel experiences, all in one place.”