Travel startup Layla, backed by investors like firstminute capital, M13, and notable figures such as Booking.com co-founder Andy Phillipps and Skyscanner co-founder Barry Smith, has announced its acquisition of AI-powered itinerary building bot Roam Around.
The deal, whose valuation remains undisclosed, brings Roam Around’s team of five under Layla’s umbrella. Roam Around, founded last year by former Google employee Shie Gabbai, had previously raised $1 million from investors like FLYR.com and Jason Calacanis.
Travel startup Layla, which launched publicly last year, employs an AI-powered bot to assist users in trip planning by aggregating information from sources like Booking.com and Skyscanner. Co-founded by Jeremy Jauncey, founder of travel agency Beautiful Destinations, Layla leverages a rich content library from travel creators, providing users with unique perspectives and videos when exploring potential destinations.
Saad Saeed, Layla’s co-founder, expressed that the acquisition was strategic, emphasizing Roam Around’s growth and strong customer traction. Travel startup Layla, known for its flight prediction models, hotel partnerships, and social engagement success, saw Roam Around’s focus on itinerary building, integrating with platforms like Viator and restaurants, as a complementary strength.
The integration process has already begun, with Travel startup Layla incorporating Roam Around’s product to enhance itinerary data for users. Simultaneously, Layla’s bot is now accessible on Roam Around’s platform. Saeed noted that the Roam Around brand would be phased out gradually, integrating seamlessly with Layla’s offerings.
In the travel tech landscape, Layla faces competition from established players like Kayak and Expedia, both exploring AI capabilities. Matador Network’s GuideGeek tool and Indian startup Kogo, backed by MapMyIndia, are also leveraging AI for personalized travel experiences.
Attentive.ai, a startup specializing in vertical software for the U.S. landscaping and construction sector, has successfully raised $7 million in a Series A funding round led by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India.
The Layla-Roam Around integration aims to combine strengths, offering users a comprehensive travel planning solution with improved itinerary data and engaging content.