Mozio and dotCloud: One-stop search engine for the airport commute

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Finding suitable ground transportation to and from airports can be a challenge at times. It is somewhat tedious to search for the various shared ride shuttles, airporters, taxis, limos and public transit providers that service airports.

The alternative is to search the web for independent operators offering ground transportation to your airport.  However, many local providers do not offer online booking.  Even if that capability exists on their websites, it isn’t trusted and most travelers call the company and book over the phone. Having traveled to 60+ countries around the world, David Litwak founded Mozio to solve the last mile commute headache to the airport for price-sensitive travelers.

According to Gigaom, social travel apps and sites are literally popping up nearly every week. Mozio is successful at differentiating itself from the other upstarts in the social travel space coined by Gigaom as the “Pinterests for Travel“.

Rapidly becoming the one-stop search engine for ground transportation servicing airports, San Francisco-based Mozio aggregates the transportation options and prices in real time for the trip to the airport and the return.  Search results from Mozio tend to show a lower fare because Mozio has prenegotiated lowered rates from the local providers.  Cost savings are then passed directly to the consumer.  In public beta since October 2012, Mozio provides searches for twelve US-based metropolitan airports today such as San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Boston, Washington DC, New York City, just to name a few, but plans to expand to 40 US-based airports before the end of the year.

dotCloud is Mozio’s [honorary] employee #3. We rely on dotCloud to scale and manage the whole tech stack.” David Litwak, Founder & CEO Mozio

Watch interview with David Litwak, Mozio here

Challenge

There are plenty of war stories from other start-ups lamenting about the hours spent setting up web servers before even a line of code is written.

The Mozio team wanted to focus on delivering their solution to a known pain point. The team is aware that there’s a likelihood that the components to Mozio’s tech stack could change especially as the volume of searches grow.  They wanted a solution that did not represent itself as yet another learning curve to their developers.

Mozio and dotCloud

Mozio’s tech stack includes Python/Django, mySQL, Redis.  Despite being an active Ruby developer and previously a Heroku user, David and his CTO decided to go with Python and dotCloud partly because the combination was better-suited to support massive searches. dotCloud provides Mozio the headroom necessary for memory-intensive search aggregation.

Another reason Mozio chose dotCloud is more business-oriented than technical. With dotCloud, Mozio can focus on their core competence without worrying about changes to the underlying tech stack itself.  Even if Mozio decides to swap out any component in its underlying technology stack, it will not present another learning curve for existing developers or even new hires.

What’s Next for Mozio

David sees tremendous business value in helping transportation providers adopt the Mozio API or in helping them define the integration interface if none exists.   Their API has started to be integrated into numerous travel services interested in upselling local airport ground transportation, adding more shuttles, airporters and taxis every day.

Being the first to integrate with the transist provider presents some distinct advantages. Mozio can help the industry set some level of standard as to how and what types of data can be shared between the applications.  Mozio won’t stop there, they will eventually allow for online booking on their site to any ground transportation vendor that they integrate with.

Search results for ground transportation options at SFO airport

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Contact Mozio via Twitter: @letsMoziio

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