Austin-based WayBlazer has raised a $5 million Series A funding led by The Entrepreneurs’ Fund (TEF) and IBM, with participation from Gobi Partners. The investment will allow the cognitive technology company to expand the development of its travel discovery solutions, increase sales and ramp up the delivery of their solutions into the marketplace.
The company is led by several travel veterans including Terry Jones, WayBlazer chairman, founder of Travelocity, founding chairman of Kayak.com and, Felix Laboy, CEO and previous president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, co-founder of E-site Marketing, a hospitality Internet marketing service company acquired by Sabre Holdings.
“We believe that WayBlazer has an excellent vision and great momentum in the travel industry,” Jeff Webber, managing director at The Entrepreneurs’ Fund, said in a statement. “Their leadership team has what it takes to scale the company quickly to keep up with their growing customer base.”
WayBlazer delivers contextual, personalized advice and insights for consumers across all phases of travel, from inspiration to transaction. Utilizing the cognitive computing power of IBM Watson, WayBlazer has the unique ability to interact in natural language, process and understand vast and disparate forms of big data to transform the way travelers seek advice with a travel discovery experience that can be individualized for every user, every time.
“WayBlazer is a great example of the breakthrough innovation we have seen from our partners who are building a new class of cognitive computing solutions powered by Watson,” said Stephen Gold, vice president, IBM Watson. “We’re excited to continue our partnership with WayBlazer to help them transform the way people experience travel planning.”
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