Former Airbnb employees launch platform to transform how we plan our weekends

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A new AI-powered tech startup, created by Airbnb alumni, is set to reimagine our weekends by changing how we discover new experiences in our local cities.

Bigfoot uses a combination of Gen AI, user-generated content and over 50 different trusted data sources to curate a simple way to find more than 120,000 events, restaurants, bars, nightlife, sports, outdoor activities and more across 160 cities.

This week, Bigfoot is launching Littlefoot, a personalised messaging platform where users can request recommendations in any language and receive a curated list of events and activities for their local city in response. Littlefoot offers Gen AI-powered natural language chat to help people make decisions on events and places incredibly fast, as if texting a friend.

Headed up by Alex Ward, former Global Director of Real Estate at Airbnb; James Robinson, former Pro Host Director at Airbnb; and Shane Lykins, former product team lead at Airbnb, the founders are clear that Bigfoot is not just another travel app but all about local discovery.

Co-founder and CEO Ward says: “The travel sector is incredibly competitive and crowded. And yet, there’s a distinct lack of great tools to help people plan their weekends. At its core, Bigfoot has been built from the ground up to address the fundamental problem of local experience discovery. It eliminates the need to sift through various sources, generic listicles and recommendations from friends or influencers, and is the most simple way we could dream to get all of us out of the monotony and work of finding new things when we attempt to not do “the same things we always do.” If we can conquer the pain point of trying to plan a great weekend, and people use it in their own backyard, they’re going to use it when they travel too.”

Bigfoot uses multiple Large Language Models including Open AI, Anthropic and Perplexity to help craft personalised ‘Best Days’ for users, giving them a curated itinerary, interactive map, and TikTok videos for each experience, which can be easily edited and shared with friends. Users can build ‘Collections’ of their favourite things and will also soon be able to create a Collection from an Apple note, email or Google Pins. Future plans include syncing with Spotify or Google Maps to get even better recommendations and custom Collections.

Ward explains that Bigfoot is the product he and his team wanted to build at Airbnb but didn’t have the resources.

“At Airbnb we saw that smart design and seamless UX are critical to providing intuitive experiences across all platforms – web and app – giving users immediate value, without the need for app downloads, logins, or paying to use the product,” he said.

“We’ve invested heavily in data aggregation, LLM assisted enrichment and ranking pipelines to compile top places and events from dozens of sources. What we’ve created is an up-to-the-minute content engine that keeps users in the loop without having to rely on human curators frantically scouring the web for the latest things to do. By employing multiple LLMs to enrich and categorise experiences with comprehensive data points, we’re able to deliver an incredible, personalised guide to your city.

Bigfoot’s vision doesn’t stop at creating great weekends. The long-term ambition is to drive economic value to local experience providers and businesses. While Bigfoot is already monetising affiliate partnerships, the team are working to build an AI-powered offers targeting platform for operators/owners that allows them to reach customers at the perfect place and time, with highly relevant value and local discounts instead of ads.

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