BiteMojo has made the culinary travel experience accessible to the individual traveler, and won an award at the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative, which was held recently. The company was awarded a €25,000 prize for the Local Community challenge
One of the issues of concern to business travelers and tourists in unfamiliar cities is the local cuisine. A popular solution is culinary tours, but these don’t always fit in with schedules, and sometimes they are even very expensive. BiteMojo has created digitized tours to enable the individual traveler to visit a city end experience it through his palate.
Michael Weiss, founding partner in BiteMojo, explains: “My wife Yael and I, along with Reuven and Mor Filo set up Israel’s largest culinary tourism company – Yalla Basta. The company grew fast because it identified the needs of individual travelers to experience Israel’s best food markets without having to depend on a guide or group. ”
“We developed a product called Market Bites Cards, which emerged as Israel’s best-selling culinary product. We decided that in order to take this concept globally, we had to link it up with technology so we set up BiteMojo as a separate startup. Our goal was to deliver the world’s number one culinary experience and enable more and more people to get to know places through their local kitchens.”
“We raised over half a million dollars from VCs and private investors and developed the application on the iOS and Android platforms. So far, we have launched culinary tours through the application in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Rome and soon Barcelona, to be followed later on by other European cities. Our growth model is through partnerships in each destination with companies which conduct local culinary tours. That way we also gain a local partner, we also gain an understanding of the product and of course we achieve considerable cost savings. ”
“The connection between BiteMojo and Visa is very natural because it can enable a user experience which right now sounds unimaginable – the ability to buy further tastings already in the course of the culinary experience. In other words, to enjoy additional benefits at the merchant the tour is visiting, and even to provide a tip through the application. These are features the users and merchants were asking us to provide”.
Oded Salomy, General Manager of Visa in Israel, said: “BiteMojo was among 8 Israeli companies that reached the finals and competed for the prizes against another 7 young companies from Europe. The competition was tough but the contestants stood out with our innovative ideas, our advanced technologies and solutions, which will be altering the way people buy and use money”.
Bill Gajda, Visa’s Executive VP for Innovation and Strategic partners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “We looked for, and are continuing to look for a broad range of Fintech solutions. In places like Tel Aviv, Berlin and London there are lots of companies working in these fields. ”
“Israel is strong in many technologies, not just in what traditionally is related to security. Israel is emerging as a world leader in biometrics and now a vibrant bitcoin community is also forming there. And even generally speaking there are lots of good Israeli Fintech companies we would like to work with and accelerate their development”.
To contact Visa’s Innovation division in Israel, please click here.