San Francisco-based startup Olset burst onto the scene in late 2012 with a vision of marrying the worlds of big data and travel. The result is Olset's virtual travel agent, a tool that leverages the power of big data to fully automate and streamline the online travel booking process.
Olset, which showcased its technology at the big data-focused Strata event earlier this year, said its system works by pulling in user information from sites ranging from Facebook to Expedia. From there, Olset's virtual travel agent can get a sense of how its users like to travel, the types of hotels they prefer and more. Then, based on those preferences, the tool suggests itineraries and makes bookings that are personalized for that user and that user alone. Olset CEO Gadi Bashvitz said users can even add in more niche preferences, like a firm bed or a room far away from the elevator, and Olset will factor them in.