Fiuzu is a personal trip planner that provides a tool to build a complete itinerary based on the user’s budget, time constraints and interests. VR Media interviewed one of the startup’s founders, who stresses the focus on discerning travelers who would rather spend more time at their actual destination rather than planning for the trip.
Traveling can be stressful or relaxing, depending on how organized your trip is. While online services like Tripadvisor and Kayak would help you with booking your trip and hotel, a startup company caled Fiuzu will help you actually plan your itinerary based on a crowd-sourced review of establishments and locations. The best part: you can plan according to your budget.
Singapore-based Fiuzu was founded because of the frustration with existing travel-oriented online services. According to co-founder and Fiuzu engineer Ong Zhong Liang, it can be annoying having to spend days “sifting through reviews on traditional travel websites to find the best attractions to visit on vacation.” This can be especially true if you only have a limited budget, and if you only have limited time to spend in a particular place.
Ong says the service aims “to kickstart your personalized journey by generating an itinerary with activities that match the traveller’s time constrains, budget and interests.” Once a user has entered his places of interest, budget and time considerations, he or she can then modify it as necessary, print out the itinerary or save it on one’s profile for later viewing and sharing.
Fiuzu targets discerning travelers with limited leisure time. “Fiuzu.com targets independent travellers, espcially busy working adults whose leisure time is precious and should be better spent on enjoying the trip instead of planning before it,” says Ong.
Currently in beta, Fiuzu offers quick registration to users via Facebook Connect. A user will then need to key in the destination, after which the service will present a few places of interest. Users are asked their time (how many days they will spend in the place), budget and landmarks they want to visit.
The place of interest will then be mapped out, and users can add places they want to go to. These can be organized by day (Fiuzu supports up to seven days itinerary).
“These attributes distinguish fiuzu.com from existing travel tools, as it is the first tool of its kind to generate a complete itinerary based on the user’s budget, time constraints and interests,” says Ong.
In addition, Fiuzu also lets users connect with friends as a “social media platform for the sharing of trips where different people can search, share and collaboratively edit plans.”
Apart from simply offering a platform for travelers to plan their trips, Fiuzu also enables locals to act as virtual tour guides by adding in new places of interest, which can include the estimated budget one will need to spend to tour that place. Locals can “play the role of his personal information assistant at the destination so that he can easily execute his personalized plan.”
In terms of business model, the startup plans to partner with establishments and companies such as airlines, in order to get commissions from sales. “The commissions come from a few sources – the booking of local guides through a secure payment system in fiuzu.com, and from partnering with airlines, hotels and transport providers,” reports Ong. However, the team is currently focusing on building and refining the online service itself, with focus on “building the infrastructure for the above transactions, as we prefer to first have a working core product.”
The company will offer its service under a freemium model, in which the site itself will offer access for free, but users will need to spend for other services rendered. The app is currently accessible through web, but the team intends to release a mobile app soon: first on iOS and then on Android.
Fiuzu is a bootstrapped activity, currently financed by the co-founders. A part of the team comes from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR) IHPC.
Fiuzu’s personal trip planner can be found at http://fiuzu.com