iPhone travel app gets govt funding

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 11:07 29/11/2012

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An Auckland start-up that has developed an iPhone app that lets travellers book same-day hotel accommodation in less than 10 seconds is one of the first two firms to get funding from a new government-backed investment fund.

The fund, Global from Day One, which is managed by Auckland's Icehouse technology incubator and venture capital company Sparkbox Ventures, has invested $150,000 in the online booking start-up, Stay Today.

It has also invested $100,000 in Auckland University business intelligence software spin-off Mohio.

Stay Today believes about 15 per cent of hotel rooms are booked on the day by travellers - representing a $240 million market in New Zealand alone - and it can be hard for those people to shop around, particularly if they arrive in a city late in the day.

Its iPhone app and booking service can be used to arrange last-minute discounted accommodation at participating hotels in Australia and New Zealand. An Android app is in the wings.

Global from Day One has raised $2.3m from private investors, which has been matched by a $2.3m investment from the Crown-owned Venture Investment Fund. The fund aims to invest in a total of about 20 start-ups with "international ambitions" over the next four years.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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