An Israeli startup has been selected to participate in a prestigious European tourism accelerator. Tel Aviv-based EasyWay (www.easyway.ai) will spend three months in Berlin’s METRO accelerator (https://metroaccelerator.com/) for hospitality and retail, operated by Boulder, Colorado-based Techstars.
EasyWay competed against over 400 other startups from around the world to claim its space, which includes a potential investment of up to €120,000 and mentorship from a pool of 300 experts in the METRO and Techstars network.
EasyWay’s virtual assistant, “Eve,” is an artificially intelligent chatbot giving travelers recommendations via any messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
Ask Eve “Which beach should I go to?” or “Where’s the best pizza in town?” and the app will scan the web to present a curated list of recommendations.
Eve learns your preferences, so the more you use it, the smarter and more personalized Eve gets. The app even has access to hotel FAQs, meaning staff can spend less time answering guests’ questions. EasyWay says it has “a proven record of boosting hotels’ in-house sales.”
As part of the METRO accelerator, EasyWay will have access to more than 500 restaurants and hotels across Europe. The ongoing feedback in real-life situations will help EasyWay “understand how to further develop [its] product to suit the needs of the hospitality industry,” explains Sylvia Dudek, director of the METRO accelerator.
Startups in past METRO accelerator cohorts have raised a total of more than $50 million. EasyWay will get its chance to present to investors in February 2019.
METRO group is the fourth largest retail chain in the world and the largest in Europe. It operates in 35 countries in Europe and Asia with a volume of nearly €40 billion.
“We believe that the METRO program will help us better understand the terrain and be better entrepreneurs,” says Roy Friedman, CEO of EasyWay.