Nimrod Lev and Oleg Sandler co-founded a dating website about 10 years ago to match Jewish singles. Now they’ve launched a company to match families with the perfect vacation.
MiniTime uses algorithms, people’s recommendations and editorial selections to rank hotels and attractions for families based on the age of the children going on the trip.
The seven-person company in Westwood offers information on more than 300 destinations in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Caribbean. It plans to expand into Europe soon.
Lev, who is MiniTime’s chairman, said he first realized how difficult it is to travel with children when he tried to take a trip with his then 1-year-old daughter. Twelve years and two more kids later, it’s become even harder to find a hotel and activities that fit his family’s needs.
“Traveling with kids is hard enough, so why should finding where to go with your kids be as hard?” he said on the phone from his home in Israel.
Lev and Sandler sold their Jewish dating company to JDate, which is now Beverly Hills’ Spark Networks. They also started a karaoke company before MiniTime, which launched last month.
Chief Executive John Smelzer said that the company plans to make money the same way many other travel-related websites do. It will get a commission when customers book a hotel room, buy tickets or make other purchases through the website.
MiniTime is one of several sites that have recently launched to tailor vacations or local outings to kids. Families have always taken vacations, Lev said, but now they are looking for more tailored experiences.
“We’re not trying to reinvent anything,” he said. “We’re trying to improve the way people are spending time with their kids.”
– Natalie Jarvey
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