VibeAgent, a hotel information aggregator, has closed a $3 million Series A funding round led by a number of individual investors. We originally covered VibeAgent in July 2007, when it was focused on compiling user-submitted hotel reviews with an integrated social network (we dubbed it a ‘TripAdvisor 2.0’ at the time). Since then the site has shifted gears, and is now a hotel meta search engine, offering a service similar to Kayak and a plethora of other sites.
CEO Adam Healey says that the site differentiates itself from Kayak by offering a more comprehensive hotel search, combing through 140,000 hotels across 30 different travel sites. VibeAgent is affiliated with nearly every source of hotel data that Kayak uses (the notable exception is Orbitz), and has also partnered with a number of niche agencies that cater to specific markets (for example, the site has one partner focused on Asian markets, while another focuses on luxury hotels). The site also features a “Hotelier Suite” that allows hotels to manually add or edit their information in the VibeAgent database. VibeAgent’s user-submitted hotel reviews live on, but they are no longer the site’s main focus.
VibeAgent may be able to set itself apart from other travel search engines by focusing exclusively on hotels, but it will likely need another differentiator – users may forgo VibeAgent’s more exhaustive search in favor of a site that lets them book their hotels and airfare. Perhaps it should consider allying with TripKick, a unique hotel site that offers reviews down to individual rooms.