Layla Secured €3 Million for Game-Changing Approach to AI-Powered Travel Recommendations


  • Layla, a Berlin-based startup founded by Jeremy Jauncey of Beautiful Destinations and Saad Saeed of Flink, is introducing an AI-driven travel recommendation app.
  • Layla leverages its extensive Instagram following to engage users and offers a chatbot experience for discovering and planning travel destinations.
  • Users can inquire about destinations, weather, activities, and even book flights and hotels through Layla’s Instagram chatbot.
  • Layla’s dedicated app on Instagram enables users to create customized travel lists, share them, and access comprehensive travel information.
  • The startup has partnered with and Skyscanner for hotel and flight options, exploring revenue through fee sharing and personalized advertising.
  • Layla stands out by providing diverse content without complex filtering and is developing vision tech to answer unique queries.
  • The company has secured €3 million ($3.2 million) in seed funding from prominent investors.
  • Competitors like Pilot, Airbnb, Kayak, Expedia, and Matador Network are also embracing AI in the travel industry.

Main AI News:

Berlin-based startup Layla is taking a bold step into the world of AI-driven travel recommendations. Founded by Jeremy Jauncey, the mastermind behind the renowned travel agency Beautiful Destinations, and Saad Saeed, co-founder of the grocery delivery service Flink, Layla is set to revolutionize how travelers discover and plan their journeys.

In a recent conversation with TechCrunch, Jauncey emphasized Layla’s mission to bring a fresh perspective to travel discovery. He pointed out that in the post-pandemic era, many travelers rely on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok for inspiration when deciding on their next destination. This shift in behavior inspired Layla’s innovative approach.

Layla, which officially launched its app and chatbot, leverages its existing Instagram following, courtesy of Beautiful Destinations’ extensive network. The Instagram chatbot serves as an entry point for users looking to explore diverse travel destinations. Users can engage with Layla on Instagram to learn about destinations, weather conditions, the best times to visit, and available activities, as well as flight and hotel options. Moreover, Layla showcases videos of various destinations curated from the Beautiful Destinations network, providing travelers with a unique perspective on each place.

Saeed revealed that Layla encourages users to transition to its dedicated app on Instagram, where they can create customized travel lists, share them with friends, and engage in detailed conversations with Layla about their travel plans. The app also offers an immersive experience by showcasing videos, ticket prices, and hotel options, streamlining the entire travel planning process.

According to Jauncey, the typical traveler visits multiple websites for various aspects of their travel journey, from seeking inspiration to making bookings. Layla aims to simplify this process, offering an all-in-one solution.

Layla has established partnerships with and Skyscanner to display hotel and flight options. Initially, the startup generates revenue through fee sharing on these transactions. However, as it scales, Layla is open to exploring additional revenue streams, such as personalized advertising opportunities.

In terms of investment, Layla has secured €3 million ($3.2 million) in seed funding, led by Firstminute Capital, co-founded by Brent Hoberman of fame, and M13. Other notable investors include Andy Phillips, co-founder of, Barry Smith, co-founder of Skyscanner, and entertainment icon Paris Hilton.

Layla’s differentiating factor lies in its ability to surface diverse content without the need for complex filtering. While the company employs large language models to process queries and provide answers, it has also developed its recommendation engine. Furthermore, Layla is actively working on vision technology to answer unique queries like “Show me destinations resembling Mars” or recommend places based on photos or videos.

Brent Hoberman, an investor in the project, expressed excitement about Layla’s innovative use of AI to answer travel-related questions and showcase proprietary destination videos, which he believes will inspire more people to travel. Hoberman acknowledges the challenges Layla may face in educating users on how to ask the right queries for accurate AI responses and becoming the go-to source of travel inspiration.

As Layla enters the market, competitors are also harnessing AI for travel solutions. Vancouver-based Pilot is developing an AI-focused travel planner, Airbnb is experimenting with AI-powered review summaries, and Kayak, Expedia, and Matador Network’s Guidegeek app have their own AI implementations. In this competitive landscape, investors recognize the value of even a slight lead in integrating AI into the travel industry.


Layla’s innovative approach to AI-powered travel recommendations, coupled with its established presence in the social media sphere, positions it as a strong contender in the market. By simplifying the travel planning process and offering a unique content-driven experience, Layla aims to capture a growing segment of travelers who seek inspiration from platforms like Instagram and TikTok. As competition in the AI-driven travel sector intensifies, Layla’s ability to surface diverse content and its strategic partnerships will play a pivotal role in its success and growth.