Interview with Pruvo Co-Founder and CEO Itai Marcipar

Itai, an entrepreneur at heart, started his own IT company at age 24 while finishing his Computer Science degree in the Technion University in Israel.

  1. What is Pruvo?

Pruvo is an AI driven that helps travel companies increase hotel booking profitability by rebooking the exact same room once the net price drops.

As well as helping  travel companies increase profitability, Pruvo allows travelers get the best hotel deal by rebooking their already booked hotel stays when the market price drops.

  1. How did you come up with the idea for Pruvo?

I booked multiple hotels for my honeymoon on an online booking site. A few weeks later, we decided we wanted to upgrade some of our rooms, so when I entered the platform again, I was astonished to see that almost half of the rooms I originally booked were being sold at a lower price than what I originally booked for.  So it hit me that this is probably more than my bad luck, but rather a market trend, and that people are unnecessarily overpaying for their hotel rooms, by not monitoring prices AFTER they book.

Itai Marcipar

  1. How did you get to where you are today with your company?

There are a few factors that have contributed to where we are today:

  1. We have always managed a lean business model.  Till 2020 we were only 4 (extremely committed) people in the company, but these 4 did multiple functions, as if we were a 10 employee size company.  Even now after our funding, we are still a very lean company.  This allows us to maximize all investment funds towards growth of revenue (marketing, biz dev)
  2. We used guerilla marketing tactics in order to gain lots of traction with very little spend early on. For example, we have appeared in over 350 media mentions in 36 countries.  In addition, our service is extremely viral, since people get excited when they here that our services saves them money (and that it is free to use), and they get even more excited when they try our service and we save them money!  These lead to people sharing our service with the friends and family, which has helped us tremendously
  3. We believe in doing things by our own – we prefer working hard and do things internally. 
    Sometimes it takes more time but for the long run I believe it is the right decision.

  1. How has coronavirus impact your company and what lessons would you take from it?

Like the entire travel industry, Covid19 has impacted our revenue, however, it has also created amazing opportunities for us. 

Regarding our B2B business – we have onboarded tens of travel companies as customers since the pandemic started. This exponential growth has been possible since travel companies were forced to put more focus into increasing profitability, and Pruvo is a perfect, risk-free solution for that.

Regarding our B2C business – we have taken this time to improve our UX and to fine tune our algorithm, add more suppliers (which helps increase probability of finding more price drops).

This has put us in a position where once travel restarts, we are going to have an incredible jumpstart to our business.

  1. What is the future of AI and Pruvo?

Regarding AI, time favors AI.  For example, AI improves over time by processing more data.  The more time elapses, the more data is processed, the more effective AI is.  In addition, more and more industries are implementing AI in some sort or another, even from simple applications like chat bots.  As time passes, more and more industries will start using AI to automize some part of their business.

Regarding Pruvo, I have never been more excited about Pruvo’s future as I am today.  I am so proud of how we as a company have exponentially increased our B2B customer base during the worst possible scenario for the travel industry.  If this is our growth during the down time, I cannot even begin to imagine our growth once things get back to normal.

6. What advice would you give to young budding entrepreneurs?

It’s all about the team – Build an all star team from the beginning, embrace failure and learn how to use failure as a learning curve so that you will improve upon your next intent, networking is key (especially in the B2B sector), bootstrap and stay lean for as long as possible, make sure you are passionate about what you do.

We would like to thank Itai for speaking with us.


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