Start-up of the week: Kompas app uses artificial intelligence to build personalised travel recommendations

The team at Kompas

The team at Kompas - Credit: Kompas

Every week we take to the streets to find a start-up business right here in Hackney. This week, we discovered an app called Kompas, which uses artificial intelligence to build travel recommendations based on who you are, and where you are.

The Kompas app

The Kompas app - Credit: Kompas

Olivia Higgs and Tom Charman came up with the idea for Kompas three years ago when they were living and working in Munich to promote “authentic” experiences abroad.

With a team of 10 at their HQ in Mentmore Terrace, London Fields, they develop their travel-technology app which uses machine learning to create personalised travel experiences based on a person’s unique interests.

Guides currently exist for London, Birmingham, Munich and Berlin and they are about to launch Liverpool and Exeter.

They have won 15 innovation and technology awards, and are currently raising £1.2m in a second round of funding.


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Tom, 23, told the Gazette: “There are online platforms like Trip Advisor but we found everything is based on ads or ranking rather than the individual, so we wanted to build a platform and make sure the preferences of the individual are taken on board.

“The other thing is there is too much noise being created by the bigger places who have a lot of money to spend on marketing, so the smaller independent places don’t get the attention they deserve. We focus on locally curated places that don’t necessarily have 25 stores across the UK, they are local and need the support that in the long term we aim to provide to them.”

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