Startup Spotlight: FACT-Finder : Powers Travel Portals With Semantic Search
Earlier in this month, we reviewed FACT-Finder Travel, a product that powers semantic search in travel portals. FACT-Finder is a Germany based company that has products for e-Commerce business, one of the product is FACT-Finder Travel. We had the opportunity to discuss with Elzbieta Marta Dokurno, International Marketing, FACT-Finder. Elzbieta speaks about the company, its travel industry product right from the conception stage.
When did you conceive this idea of building a semantic search engine?
It started in 2009 and in the same year the decision was made to put this idea into practice. FACT-Finder Travel is a third division of Omikron Data Quality GmbH. Omikron Data Quality GmbH is an international company, well-known for its e-commerce and data quality solutions. Developing a semantic search engine seemed to be a natural choice as it is the next step and the future of search in general.
How many travel companies are using FACT-Finder Travel?
Currently, two major OTA’s in Germany have integrated the semantic search offered by FACT-Finder Travel. We’ve experienced a huge interest in FACT-Finder Travel during the ITB 2012. Many OTA’s were asking about the possibility of integration. This interest is reflected in numerous talks which are carried with FACT-Finder Travel in the last month.
What all languages you support currently? What’s the lingual support plan in future?
Currently FACT-Finder Travel is supporting German language and English language is in development. The lingual support is going to develop together with the demand of the market. Omikron Data Quality GmbH has already developed technologies which are language barriers free and this know-how can be easily transferred to FACT-Finder Travel search engine.
How long does it take to integrate FACT-Finder Travel into another travel company’s web portal? Is it weeks or months?
Integration time depends on many different factors. As we know OTA’s differ between each other when it comes not only to the data they use, but also how the data is structured. What is important is, the website stays open to the customers during the process of integration. Thus, the time of integration, whether it’s going to take 2 weeks or 2 months, is not that crucial.
How does the revenue model work?
The revenue model is discussed with each client separately. Mutual success is very important for FACT-Finder Travel, that is why the model is based on the results, not e.g. on the number of searches done via the semantic search engine offered by FACT-Finder Travel.
Is artificial intelligence built into the product? Example: I search “I want to goto miami beach with my wife Maria”. Two days later, I search “I want to goto miami beach with wife”. Now, will the product detect that I want to go with my wife “Maria” and she is 28 years old and give me search results accordingly?
Artificial intelligence as such is not built in this technology. It would be difficult at least from the point of the data, which one would have to create such kind of technology. The technology which would be able to correctly interpret “I want to go to miami beach with my wife Maria” and afterwards “I want to goto miami beach with wife”, would also have an access to the personal information like age, marritial status, name and surname of the spouse and so on. FACT-Finder Travel would understand the query “I want to go to miami beach with my wife Maria” in below context:
- Trip for 2 people (room for 2 people)
- Miami beach- hotel close to the beach in Miami
However with FACT-Finder Technology one can write much longer queries, e.g.
“I want to go to miami beach with my wife Maria and my dog, hotel with WiFi, parking space, SPA, 3 stars”
Do you have any competitors in this segment?
Semantic search technology developed by google was recently mentioned in the media quite often. They can be named as our competitors, however google does not specialize in semantic search engines for OTAs and as we know the on-site search in OTA’s is quite peculiar. There is also Evature. However, their technology significantly differs from FACT-Finder Travel.
How big is your company in terms of people?
The company has around 100 employees and it has offices in 9 countries. More information about the company you may read here: http://www.fact-finder.com/About-us1289486016.html
Did you receive funding? any funding required in future?
We did not receive any funding. Funding will be taken into consideration when the company starts expanding to other countries.
We wish FACT-Finder Travel all success in their future rollout in travel portals.
Author: Karthick Prabu