May 22, 2022

Church Street Espresso

Experienced In Leisure

STARTUP Stage: Una is an AI-run digital travel agent

11 min read


XOKind is constructing AI brokers that enable individuals
approach and make decisions additional effortlessly beginning with its vacation solution, Una.

Una supports
collaborative trip preparing and takes advantage of synthetic intelligence to suggest
solutions that match travelers’ choices.

What is your 30-next pitch to traders?

Generational shifts in choices and the COVID-19 pandemic have led buyers to prepare their travel extra spontaneously than at any time prior to. This has designed user need and marketplace share alternatives for novel strategies of identifying, scheduling and reserving travel
that overcome the fragmented and generic mother nature of the approach today. 

XOKind designed the Una journey app as a seamless, all-in-a person place for people to program their journey. Una supports collaborative trip scheduling and employs artificial intelligence
to advise possibilities that match travelers’ choices so they can strike the highway quickly and be confident of a journey that is pleasurable for all.

Our extensive-term eyesight with Una is to create an AI vacation agent and concierge that is aware you effectively sufficient that it can prepare and ebook complete journeys for you with small back and forth while preserving a higher diploma of transparency and trust.


Describe the two the small business and technology areas of your startup.

XOKind’s main company and know-how differentiation is an AI-enabled market that matches people with the very best available stock to maximize their all round vacation practical experience. The crew at XOKind leverages the latest AI advancements to create a awareness
graph of the world’s journey material, inventory of bookable as nicely as absolutely free travel places (parks, beaches, museums, and so forth.), and users’ preferences. 

Our most important products is our cellular application named Una – which is a concierge and travel agent – an
all-in-1 spot to prepare your journey. We make commissions on the buys built via Una. 

Compared with a lot of other vacation solutions, Una does not display ads. This is a way to establish user belief and guarantee that our incentives are often aligned with
our users’.

Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Possibilities, Threats) examination of the enterprise.


  • Match-modifying AI technological know-how: aids uncover inventory that satisfy the distinct choices of the shopper and normally takes into account trip logistics these kinds of as proximity to lodge right up until now, people have experienced as well lots of possibilities to scroll by means of, which had no correlation
    to what they in fact wanted 
  • Brief spot preparing: Travel arranging and collaboration these days includes a whole lot of copying and pasting across lots of applications and applications – Una is the 1st app that can serve as the a single place for all your journey programs! Una gives recommendations for areas to
    stay and try to eat, and matters to do in a person place from a range of trusted sources. Irrespective of whether the consumer just wishes to take a spontaneous weekend vacation or dwell the existence of a electronic nomad roaming from spot to place they can depend on Una as a own journey
  • Heaps of COVID-19 appropriate details and recommendations: e.g. local, outdoor journeys, dining places with out of doors seating, vacation rentals and lodges with basic safety protocols
  • Fresh new perspective in developing a person-initially AI solution: combining the finest of complex and liberal arts thinking
  • Professional workforce with a prior productive startup exit (Nervana Systems, acq. Intel).
  • Weaknesses:

  • When the app can be utilised in pretty much all countries, at present the encounter is optimized for US tourists traveling domestically or internationally (for e.g. currencies displayed are in USD). In potential variations, Una will offer you far more customizations and
    content for consumers exterior the US.
  • Una’s concentration to date has been on destination setting up (destinations to remain and matters to do) and booking (resort booking in application is dwell, and holiday rental reserving is coming soon). We prepare to incorporate transportation possibilities (flights, vehicle rentals, RVs) in potential
    variations. As a marketplace we have the opportunity to have a large LTV as we add additional purchasable merchandise in adjacent locations in Una. We are also concentrating on a larger conversion charge relative to the competitiveness powered by a considerably greater knowledge of user
  • We are getting a robust privateness stance by forgoing ad revenue and refusing to provide buyer knowledge to make guaranteed that the XOKind AI is always aligned with the user and not motivated by other variables. Although this will in the end be a big positive, it restrictions
    our latest income to purchasable content.
  • Prospects:

  • Gen Z and millennials are exhibiting a generational change in vacation habits building marketplace share alternatives – they are likely to just take numerous spontaneous trips, use efficient and collaborative tools on mobile for other domains, and interact with new know-how
    like own assistants. The present journey merchandise really don’t cater to their changing wants.
  • People are applied to acquiring seamless and individualized ordeals in movies (Netflix), audio (Spotify), finance (Betterment) and manner (StitchFix), but there is a obtrusive hole/prospect in vacation for a related encounter
  • Higher journey need, especially in the US domestic current market now that vaccines are getting administered. 
  • Threats:

    • Ongoing uncertainty with international and small business vacation because of to COVID-19. On the domestic entrance extraordinary weather gatherings this kind of as wildfires, floods and hurricanes have complex travel options. Una is effectively positioned to assist people navigate this dynamic
      setting by assisting users prepare extra spontaneous visits and in the foreseeable future integrate even much more dynamic data resources. 
    • Vacation is admittedly a crowded place with numerous existing and new products offerings. There is also entrenched actions and brand associations even if they have not been delivering in a though. We established extremely substantial expectations with Una’s item knowledge
      and operate tricky to obtain our users’ believe in as outlined earlier mentioned. 

    What are the journey soreness details you are making an attempt to alleviate from each the customer and the marketplace perspective?

    • Discovering travel solutions that match customers’ (personal or team) interests is a laborious and time-consuming approach nowadays which boundaries how regularly they vacation
    • Normally, online vacation material is not incredibly actionable – you see a beautiful place on social media, but using a journey all-around it is nowhere close to a just one click on e-book working experience
    • On the web booking is generally opaque – advertorial placements guiding the place you must journey, influencing hotel rankings, or producing a false sense of urgency/shortage – difficult to obtain authentic and objective points of watch
    • Selections accessible to prospects are not location-on with respect to their personalities, passions and budget limitations
    • Equipment applied for collaborating on journey ideas now this kind of as notes and spreadsheets are not developed for travel. Journey and location specifics such as opening several hours and opinions are not dynamically up to date but instead get stale following the duplicate/paste. Figuring
      out proximity to landmarks or driving occasions necessitates a great deal of again and forth with maps apps. Vacation information applications generally exclude the scheduling performance.

    So you’ve received the merchandise, now how will you get a lot of customers?

    We have been in public beta given that mid-Feb’21 and have found robust person development and retention given that then.

    Collaboration is a highly effective function in driving organic and natural consumer advancement. We are partnering with travel influencers who we like to build pleasant itineraries and travel written content. About time, we could develop into an actionable counterpart to platforms like Instagram
    and help them monetize their terrific content by means of rev share.

    End users can dream up their next journey by viewing our Explore feed, which characteristics clean itineraries added day-to-day relevant for a vary of traveler personas. This partaking trip feed is impressed
    by top vacation resources, in-the-know influencers, our user foundation, as very well as primary outings from our travel lover writers.

    We can use natural and focused/compensated social media content material by using platforms like Fb, Instagram and TikTok.

    We have been highlighted on the iOS Application Retail outlet as a “Hot this week” app. We have also been featured in a guardian web site, and national (CNBC), print and Tv stores as a top rated vacation application. 

    Inform us what method you’ve long gone by means of to set up a real need to have for your organization and the size of the addressable current market.

    From prototyping to alpha to beta, our workforce has conducted in depth analysis among our goal personas employing a structure sprint methodology to build a merchandise that buyers discover practical and delightful. It is by way of this system that we identified the need to have for
    a travel app that solves spontaneous and collaborative excursion preparing.

    Una solution and technologies development is incredibly person-centered. We think this has contributed to a faithful admirer foundation of Una consumers who have been sharing Una trips with mates and loved ones.

    Journey is certainly a extremely massive market place. By some estimates millennials alone expended $200 billion on vacation in 2018. Accommodations, holiday vacation rentals and airlines have a market place dimension of $1.5 trillion. By 2025, 75{2c7239c9a7a702744f50a2550e3a606796d212ac94bcade170c7080cb738bbda} of all travelers will be millennials and GenZs. As talked about earlier mentioned, they are producing exceptional product or service requires and will modify the market landscape.  

    How and when will you make income?

    We make income as a result of commissions from bookings built in the application. We lately introduced lodge bookings in the app and will soon include holiday vacation rental bookings. We have companions previously signed up to supply the means to acquire flights, vehicle rentals,
    functions, excursions and attractions, and will be progressively bringing these into Una.

    What are the backgrounds and former achievements of the founding crew?

    Founding workforce: Arjun Bansal (CEO PhD Neuroscience) Yinyin Liu (CTO PhD Machine Finding out) Sarah Harris (VP Solution PhD Media Reports, MBA)

    Prior to co-founding XOKind, Arjun (Fortune 40 Less than 40, 2019) was a co-founder of the AI startup
    Nervana Units (obtained by Intel in 2016). Later on he served as a VP in the Intel AI team, wherever alongside one another with longtime colleague Yinyin (ex-head of knowledge science, Intel AI best 30 females in AI) discovered about the troubles confronted by corporations
    hoping to incorporate AI into every day item experiences. They teamed up with Sarah (ex. products manager at Apple iOS/Siri) to offer the most current AI advances into pleasant shopper experiences, and Una is the fruition of that eyesight. 

    How have you dealt with diversity and inclusion within your small business?

    Range and inclusion has been section of the founding DNA of XOKind. We designed a mindful energy to have each technical as effectively as design and style wondering from the get-go. Two out of the three founders are women of all ages, and two out of three of us are international born, naturalized
    Americans. We have lived in and traveled to quite a few elements of the planet. 

    Yinyin has been an advocate of explainable and clear AI, and initiated attempts in AI analysis /
    AI technological know-how for social excellent, and cross-organizational effort and hard work to use AI technologies to increase life and modern society. 

    At XOKind we attempt to build a kinder, more human entire world – and our name and products demonstrates that. XOKind is an AI firm, but it has kindness firmly at its heart.

    When Una gives
    a wide set of visits for a lot of consumer personas, we tried out to preserve chaotic moms/moms and dads/industry experts in thoughts when designing capabilities. Females sort the vast majority of the Una user neighborhood.

    We think AI agents can generate the following wave of enhancements
    in excellent of everyday living by automating monotonous careers, enhancing the user’s experience when normally becoming on the user’s side. We hope that this craze will advantage folks that could have traditionally faced barriers to traveling due to lack of time available
    for setting up or obtain to travel arranging and reserving help. Our selling prices are also pretty aggressive as we are passing on a large amount of our savings back to our buyers.

    What is actually been the most complicated section of founding the enterprise so far?

    As you may possibly think about, COVID-19 played a massive purpose in making a journey merchandise in 2020. Just a handful of months just before COVID-19 hit, we experienced set up an business office in San Diego and had folks be a part of us from all across the state and from Canada.

    As quickly as we were in lockdown and WFH manner, we had to fast adapt to new means of collaborating and performing with each other, whilst handling kids at residence with disrupted school schedules. We also experienced to pivot final summer time from at first concentrating on much more of a SMB
    market place (which vanished into zoom phone calls right away) to focusing much more on spontaneous, nearby, out of doors, leisure outings to ideal provide the modifying demands of tourists.

    As a result of it all, we are very pleased to have developed a group and lifestyle that is loaded with grit and enthusiasm about our shared vision.

    Typically, journey startups facial area a rather rough time building an impression – so why are you heading to be one of lucky kinds?

    We have spoken to various past vacation startup founders, and we are pretty grateful for the learnings that they’ve shared. We have tried using to incorporate these learnings as section of our merchandise and small business technique when it will come to developing essential magical moments
    in the application, lowering CAC, raising LTV, addressing the very low frequency problem in travel head on and using technology to scale effectively and fix issues.

    We are committed to setting up superior products and solutions and services that seamlessly allow for individuals to system and book travel. We are now looking at a path to hundreds of thousands of bucks in bookings primarily based on our latest use and mixed with our long run options and consumer advancement
    we are very optimistic!

    A year from now, what condition do you think your startup will be in?

    Una will consist of transportation (flights, auto rentals, RVs) scheduling and bookings options, and improved intercontinental help as the planet emerges from COVID-19. We will keep on to develop our user foundation and revenue. End users will trust our brand name for their
    travel suggestions, arranging and booking

    What is your close-sport? (Likely public, acquisition, growing and staying private, and so on.)

    XOKind has a lengthy-time period eyesight of bringing AI improved customer activities not just to vacation by way of Una, but to other verticals as properly. We plan to comply with a system that gives us flexibility in obtaining that objective, no matter if it’s through likely general public or
    keeping non-public.

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