Off & Away Nabs $2M

10/19/10

Seattle-based travel startup Off & Away has raised a $2 million financing round, led by Madrona Venture Group, according to a report by TechCrunch. The company, which rolled out in May, offers high-end hotel rooms at cheap prices via an online auction bid-based service. Off & Away is headed up by chief executive Doug Aley, a former entrepreneur in resident at Madrona. The firm also led the company’s initital $1.35 million funding round earlier this year. According to the report, Off & Away will use the new financing to expand its team, ink new hotel partnerships, and further develop its products and marketing initiatives.

Thea Chard is a correspondent for Xconomy Seattle. You can e-mail her at theachard@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/theachard. Follow @

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  • Joyce

    Be careful. The auction part of the side is what it is. If you understand how it works, I don’t think it’s a scam. But, once you book a room through their hotel booking site know that if you see a cheaper rate elsewhere – including on their own site – you have to point it out to them 3 full days before your reservation starts or you’re out of luck. Asked customer service if they’d at least give me the last 2 days of our reservation at the lower rate, since that was 3 days out but all I got was no. So, take that into account when booking through them. You’re locked in 3 days out. Better off booking directly with your hotel if you ask me.

  • Joe

    Be careful. This may not be a scam, However, Off & Away prays on peoples who just want to save and they hope you don’t fully understand the process. You “will lose money” on this, that is a promise. They post a highly inflated price of a hotel at the top of the auction in hopes that you wont check out what the real price is and bid your heart out. Remember every bid is REAL money you are spending. Plus (IF YOU WIN) you pay for all the bids PLUS the total of the final bid. (in some cases its more than if you just booked it through a travel agent) Off & Away make there money on your dream for the best price. Then what…Well you still have to get to the hotel and if you know anything about travel you know that packaging Hotel and flight saves money. So now you are paying even more for a vacation that you really don’t know anything about. If you lose and (YOU WILL) keep in mind your bids have a (NO REFUND) policy. My advise, Read the fine print and then contact a good travel agent that can get you what you really want and not some random hotel that you may get if you spend (bid) enough money.

  • http://Off&Away Rachel

    Well I’m inclined to believe that this site Off&Away.com is not really a good deal. I’ve been in a few of there auctions and have lost every time. Sure you accumulate points to use towards another hotel in there data base but some of these rooms that I saw on there site with jacuzzi in there room were not available, there excuse is that once these rooms were rented they remove them, but the picture of the room is left, leading you to believe that room is available, which really is not!

    If you like to throw away your money and get frustrated all the time then this place is for you.

    I wouldn’t recommend this site to anyone! Sure I suppose there are real winners but can’t tell for sure. I’m skeptical that’s for sure. Some times I think they have there own people in there doing the bidding as well to either drive the price up or to lock into to a very cheap price and then show it off as if someone had actually won a super great deal…hum highly doubtful.

    So if this hasn’t convinced you to stay away from this site then don’t say you haven’t been warned!

    There are some really crazy gamblers on this site that will pay what ever it cost to win. The same hotel can go from anywhere from $30-$700.00 if you get a compulsive gambler in on the auction. These people are nuts! All they have to do is look into the history of that hotel on the site and see just how low someone else paid for the same hotel but doing this check up after you have won a auction could make you feel like a real fool for bidding such a high price.

    The price that Off&Away claims for the hotel is always and I mean always inflated. I’ve done enough research to know this. I’ve seen packages they claim to be worth a few thousand dollars and when I go to site of the hotel I see the price Off&Away is so much higher then the hotel room really is. I guess this is a way of catching your attention if your one that does do this kind of research. Just know you more likely will do better going directly to the hotel or find a deal on another site where you don’t have to gamble your money away in hopes that you will win. In almost all cases I assure you, you will lose.