iPhone travel app gets govt funding
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.