I was at an investors conference yesterday featuring presentations from a number of startups. One of the presentations was DealAngel. Now, I don’t think I’d invest in this company, especially because Orbitz and Priceline just reported large drops in revenue amid shrinking margins. But I did see a few things about DealAngel that some readers might find useful.
The premise of the site is to show you deals. Simple, huh? Well, not exactly, but not overly complicated. It appears the model is built around establishing how good a deal any specific property is. In theory, a property could score higher in their model because it’s a better deal than another property relative to it’s normal price. It assigns a letter score (A through D) to each property for which you have searched a date range for. But, the model isn’t building in the perceived quality of the property into the score.
One of the useful tools I see is akin to the airfare watchdog engines out there. The demo showed an element of the site that tracks where the historical rate of the property has been and assigns a value as to whether the rate is likely to go up or down in the future. Assuming it works, I think this could be a pretty useful feature.
The demo we saw of the site compared two properties to show which one was a better overall deal based on the historical pricing. It ranks the deal and also provides a confidence rating on the predictions. Again, not sure how reliable their predictions are/will be.
The site also lists rates from other sites (discounters like Hotels.com), which provides another interesting layer of information.
For me, I like that the engine is fairly clean. Not a lot of clutter, which is one of the reasons I don’t use sites like Orbitz or Expedia. I don’t know that I would use the site a whole lot, as I’m loyal to a couple of specific chains.
But, I think the site could represent good value for the casual traveler. The guys behind it have experience in the space, so I’d put a reasonable amount of confidence that this could be a good tool for the occasional traveler.