VibeAgent, a site that aggregates listings from travel and hotel sites to help you find the best prices, has raised $3 million in a first round of institutional funding.
It’s hard to get too excited about the Charlottesville, Va. startup, because there are so many travel sites out there. But VibeAgent is a bit unusual since it isn’t making deals with hotels directly. Instead, it pulls listings from other sites — TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid compares it to travel site Kayak, which seems about right. VibeAgent says it aggregates listings from more than 30 other sites, adding up to more than 140,000 hotels. It also allows hotels to claim and manage their profiles on VibeAgent through a service called the Hotelier Suite.
The problem with being a “Kayak for hotels” is that, um, Kayak already lets you look for hotels. There’s a trade-off, of course, between the convenience of a one-stop travel site like Kayak, and a more specialized company like VibeAgent. In a declining economy, people may prefer the specialist site, which has more listings and presumably lets you find lower prices. On the other hand, people will probably be doing a lot less traveling in the coming months.
The financing comes from an unnamed group of software, travel and private equity executives. TRX chief executive Trip Davis, who provided VibeAgent’s angel round, also participated.