Ari Steinberg wants to help you discover the perfect trip.
And that’s why the former Facebook executive — who previously led the social networking giant’s Seattle operation — formed Vamo. We’ve written in the past about the Seattle online travel upstart, including some of its big name backers such as U2’s Bono, Code.org founder Hadi Partovi, entrepreneur Dave Morin, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and others.
But Steinberg has kept pretty mum about what he and his team of eight have been building.
But now it’s finally vámonos time for Vamo.
After two years operating in stealth mode, Vamo today is launching a beta site that Steinberg says is designed to make it easier to plan multi-city international voyages.
You may think that’s already possible through sites such as Expedia, Hipmunk or Kayak, but Steinberg said Vamo is different.
In essence, Vamo is attempting to emulate the service of a high-end travel agent — piecing together itineraries that match the traveler’s needs, while also saving them money.
Of course, Vamo promises to do this through the power of technology.
“Historically, people would use humans to help them plan these types of things, and some people still use travel agents,” said Steinberg. “And it is understandable why they would, because it is really hard if you go to a site like Expedia or Kayak or Hipmunk or anything like that, it just becomes so much more complicated as soon as there is more than one stop involved.”
In that regard, you can kind of think of Vamo as a robotic travel agent.
“We try to keep things really simple and easy to use, but at the same time also give you flexibility,” he said. “You just tell us where you want to go, and then we can spit out the best itinerary in terms of flights, hotels, trains, buses and whatever other transit options there are. And then you can edit it.”
Vamo can be used for any type of trip, but it is not really designed for the quick weekend jaunt to Portland or San Francisco. Instead, Steinberg said it is ideal for multi-city voyages — especially those overseas where planning trips can be daunting because of the numerous transportation and lodging options at play.
At this point, Steinberg said that the company is largely focused on providing a tool that helps travelers figure out booking, pricing and scheduling. “It really is logistics focused,” he said.
GeekWire readers who are interested in trying out Vamo can do so here. Meanwhile, here’s a screen grab of the service.