I’m pleased to announce I’ve recently invested in AVUXI.

UPDATE: Here’s a demo page showing AVUXI tools in action.

AVUXI aggregates all kinds of data about location and uses that to determine which areas are most relevant for certain topics. Right now their main focus is the travel industry. If you’ve ever had to book a hotel or apartment in a city you don’t know well, you have experienced the problem AVUXI is solving. Their customers are from across the travel industries, ranging from giants of online travel like KAYAK to smaller partners like vacation rental sites.

AVUXI analyzes data from over 60 sources and then has magical algorithms that create popularity scores to determine how relevant a place is for a certain activity. So now you can see if that hotel is in a convenient location for shopping or nightlife or sightseeing, or whatever. They do this for the entire world.

Other attempts at defining location relevance tend to be done by hand (and are thus not scalable and don’t stay relevant) or depend on having a massive user base. A good example of that approach is Foursquare. That works well when you have a large and active user base, but fails where you don’t. Here in Barcelona when I’m by the beach all the restaurants have relevant Foursquare reviews, but when I’m back up the hill, where the tourists rarely venture, Foursquare doesn’t do well.

AVUXI’s algorithmic approach scales, and the feedback (both qualitative and cold hard data)from customers is great. There’s an increase in hotel booking conversions as well as a higher willingness of hotel customers to pay more per stay when being certain of a suitable hotel location.

Here’s a screenshot of an AVUXI heatmap on eDreams showing areas in Barcelona relevant for sightseeing:

Here’s a screenshot of their TopPlace module integrated with a KAYAK hotel listing:

The AVUXI business model is straight forward. Small users like individual hotels can use AVUXI’s tools for free, with various pricing tiers as usage grows. The content can be dropped in quickly with a few lines of javascript.

Despite the masses of data they are wrangling, AVUXI is still a very small team, only five people including the founders Alexis and Roberto. Besides a financial investment, I’ll be diving in and rolling up my sleeves to help grow the business in the coming months. It’s a good fit for me; the business has a strong geotech element, and hotel bookings is similar in many aspects to the online real estate search industry that I spent the last decade working in.

In more good news, fellow Barcelona expat and online travel industry veteran, Sam Friend has joined me in investing, as have my old friends Lance Johnson and Salim Mitha.

Many congrats to the Alexis and Roberto and the rest of the AVUXI team on what they’ve built. I look forward to working with them to help the business grow. Learn more about AVUXI on their blog or by following @AVUXI on twitter.

Finally, please get in touch if you’re a hotel or apartment booking site and want to have more bookings.