TravelAI relaunches Casai website with focus on luxury short-term rentals


TravelAI announced Friday it was launching a new metasearch site targeting luxury travelers interested in villas, short-term rentals and holiday homes, primarily in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

While the site is new, the domain name will be familiar to those in the short-term rental sector: Casai, which was a Latin American short-term rental startup that ceased operations last July, despite having raised more than $50 million since its founding in 2019.

TravelAI said it completed the acquisition, rebranding and launch of the new Casai.com within “a few days,” but it is not disclosing the financial terms.

“Our philosophy is to operate at speed and scale, and we were able to launch this brand in days using [artificial intelligence] technology and our multi-site content platform,” said TravelAI CEO John Lyotier said. “Now that it is launched, we anticipate a lot more tweaks to the brand and site using the data we gather to service the needs of travelers, increasing the personalization and relevance one visitor at a time.”

The acquisition was for just the domain name.

“The domain represents luxury and is relevant to our target audiences, but it is also a blend of the words ‘Casa’ and ‘AI,’ which perfectly encapsulates what we do,” Lyotier said. “We believe that AI will be used to inspire travelers, answer traveler queries and make the entire market more efficient.”

TravelAI uses AI to connect travelers with properties that match their needs, preferences, and behaviors. It does this by dividing travelers into what it calls “micro-segments,” from luxury to budget friendly. Examples of TravelAI’s more than 350 consumer websites include Rent by Owner, Hotala, Vacation Cottages, Cabinns, and now Casai.

These niche sites recommend properties listed on online travel agency partners like Booking.com and Expedia Group’s Vrbo, which serve as the merchant of record for all bookings.

The deal is an example of TravelAI’s strategy to deliver high-value travelers to its OTA customers, said Chris Jensen, chief operating officer of TravelAI.

“This brand will be profitable from day one due to our economies of scale, use of AI-supported technology and ability to monetize traffic effectively,” Jensen said. “It is a painful fact in the travel market that many businesses fail. The previous owners invested heavily in brand development yet were unable to achieve profitability before abandoning their efforts. We are entering a new world for travel-related companies, and we anticipate significant changes in how travelers are supported along their journey.”


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