Today, Gekko announced the launch of Gekko.com in Beta, the first online service that uses proprietary technology to find places suited to your tastes based on your unique profile and the preferences of likeminded people. Unlike most travel, review or lifestyle sites, Gekko.com gives you an easy way to find an ideal place without searching through the hundreds of thousands of hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs available online. Gekko’s smart matching technology matches you to a much smaller selection of 20 highly targeted and relevant spots that you are most likely to enjoy and shows recommendations from other Gekko community members who have similar profiles and tastes.
“People don’t have time to spend hours online looking for a restaurant or hotel, and then waste their money making the wrong choice,” said Dino Van Es, founder of Gekko. “Most websites provide an overwhelming amount of information, but in an anonymous, impersonal way. Gekko is taking a different approach by applying the idea of smart matching and personalized recommendations to travel, in the same way that Netflix did for movies and Last.fm did for music.”
Gekko has been developing its technology and service over the last year. After doing market research by surveying 7,500 people across Europe and the US, Gekko worked with leading marketing intelligence firm MI Company to develop the unique matching algorithm behind the Gekko Profiler. The research showed that people were taking more than 40 criteria into consideration when choosing a hotel or a restaurant. The algorithm helped reduce this list to nine determinant choices with different relative weight, making it possible for people to not only easily profile themselves, but also get the right recommendations instantly from what will become the largest and richest database of hotels and restaurants around the world.
Gekko combines this powerful underlying technology with the human-touch of peer-to-peer matching to ensure that everyone can find spots perfectly matched to their own individual tastes. Starting today in Beta, Gekko can already make recommendations from its quickly expanding database of more than 55,000 hotels, with 10,000 bookable restaurants being added in the next month.
“The combination of the ‘Gekko Profiler’ and smart personality matching with others in our community means that Gekko can offer members highly targeted and relevant results, rather than the typical list of 200 or more options that can take hours to evaluate,” said George Henderson, Gekko’s Chief Operating Officer. “Gekko puts the user firmly in control so they have all the information they need to make the best choices and help guarantee the best experiences.”
Gekko was founded in February 2008 by entrepreneur Dino Van Es and is backed by a group of individual investors. Visit www.gekko.com to make your own Gekko Profile and start discovering places and people around the world.