We all dream of getting away right? Doesn’t really matter how great the place we might be is, there’s always somewhere else that promises a bluer sky, clearer oceans and greener grass. Sometimes it’s not a place we have in mind though, sometimes there’s just that unsettled feeling in the soul and the idea of what we’d much rather be doing than reading an article posted on a website right? You can picture that idea in your head, you know the thing you’d rather be doing, but you don’t know where to go to fulfil that desire. Well that’s where Owegoo comes in.
Owegoo, a new travel startup from Sweden, want to help people find the perfect destination for their holidays. Users tell the service the types of things they would like to do and Owegoo comes up with a list of locations they could go.
Sofia Franzén, founder of Owegoo said,“We know that people have certain desires about when to travel and often don’t know exactly where to go but more what they want to do. We want to make the easiest online travel booking site in the world, developed by the community.”
“The idea was born out of frustration,” explained Sofia. “It all started when I, a few years ago, wanted to leave Sweden for a couple of months to work and live abroad. I wanted to find a warm and sunny place where I could work, where the internet connection was good and where I could communicate with the people in one of the languages that I know. It took me weeks to find out that Malaysia was the perfect place for my needs.”
While the idea might have been born years ago, it was only last summer that work on the project began. Financed by a Swedish business angel and a loan from the Swedish Government’s ALMI the five person team have worked hard to craft a search engine to their specific design requirements.
Sofia described how they have built a graph database for locations and activities and use an algorithm to match all that information in real time with relevant flight data. There’s an important message in her admission that she didn’t realise how much work needed to go into that database when they first began. Just think, you have to add data for every tourist destination in the world and have the matching flight data to go along with it. Sometimes approaching a task with naievity allows you to begin to tackle it without fear when knowing the full scope of the challenge might have stopped you from ever trying.
So what’s ahead for Owegoo? Well they plan to grow their team this year but more significantly the service as well. First on the to-do list will be adding more destinations and filters, then in a few months time they also intend to start offering hotel bookings. What Sofia says she’s most excited about though is opening up the platform to users. They will be able to create their own filters and tell other people about which of the destinations Owegoo lists are the best for each activity available.
It sounds like a great idea and now I’m off to search out my own dream destination; a dormant volcano, skiing, gun ranges, abseiling, snorkelling, a fancy hotel with a grand ballroom and attached casino… All the elements a James Bond daydreamer needs.