Tech Talk: Travel app raises funds

Gulliver Group CEO Uri Alon announced a strategic change in the group’s structure.

Travel agency in Jerusalem (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Travel agency in Jerusalem
The founder of Hulyo and a group of technologists from the Gulliver Group are launching a new online travel venture with an investment of $1,000,000. It is expected to change the search and booking process of low-cost flights globally.
Gulliver Group CEO Uri Alon announced a strategic change in the group’s structure. He said Giora Mandel, the founder of the Hulyo mobile travel app, which offers super-low-cost last-minute flights to a variety of worldwide destinations, even with just a few hours notice before departure time, is currently setting up, together with the Gulliver Group, a new online travel venture that is expected, like Hulyo, to change the “rules of the game” in the travel industry globally.
Mandel, Hulyo’s former CEO, will be replaced by Carmit Dotan, who served as the digital marketing and sales manager of El Al and UP for the last four years.
“Giora Mandel is considered to be a groundbreaking entrepreneur in the travel industry,” Alon said. “Immediately following its launch, Hulyo became the most innovative and talked- about thing in the industry. I have no doubt that our new venture will again bring the same spirit of innovation and more.”
The Hulyo mobile app was launched in 2012.
It allows users to receive daily notifications that offer last-minute tickets for unsold flights at rock-bottom prices, starting from $99.
Hulyo registered more 1,000,000 downloads within the first few months alone, with viral word-to-mouth marketing. In 2015, tens of thousands of passengers flew with Hulyo to worldwide destinations, making it one of the most popular mobile apps in Israel.
Bitly Bitly, a link management platform that shortens 600 million links per month for use in social networking, SMS and email, plans to move all of its infrastructure, including 25 billion links, to IBM’s cloud in an effort to increase performance and reduce inactivity.
“Bitly sees about five billion unique browsers a month, from every country, from every platform and channel. So we’re very excited to be able to leverage the IBM cloud,” Bitly CTO Rob Platzer said. “The high-speed network is going to give us performance across the globe, and we’re going to be able to leverage the 46 data centers internationally to push our edge closer to our customers, especially in hard-to-reach places.”
Bitly’s API interface, which helps developers incorporate more than 300 million links every month into products and applications, will also move to the IBM cloud. The location of the end user will no longer be important, which will speed up processes considerably. This is great news for users worldwide, especially since 70 percent of bitly links are provided to users outside of the US.
Bitly is well known by Internet users thanks to its URL shortening ability, so that words can be used in text messages, emails and social media, where each character is important. Bitly links make up more than 12 billion clicks per month,and 250 billion different data points.
Its management platform enables marketers to build branded links, add deep linking capabilities to mobile applications, track how users interact with systems and content and to analyze data obtained from the field to improve communication with customers.
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Translated by Hannah Hochner.