Chatbot Hotel Booking Service Raises $8 Million

A start-up has raised 8 million US dollars to fund a new online hotel booking service. The company, called SnapTravel, allows customers to book rooms around the world using messaging services, such as text and Facebook Messenger. The service works partly with chatbots, which help users answer simple questions, but can then be transferred to human agents who can then assist with more complex requests or problems. Human agents can contact hotels on a user's behalf, as well as negotiate upgrades. The company's co-founder, Henry Shi, said that a booking service could work over a chat app since sometimes people don't want to make phone calls or walk into a store.