US: Stay-sharing marketplace KOALA has launched what it claims to be a “first-of-its-kind Covid-19 tracker” on its website that will provide live data about the safety and Covid-19 preparedness of every destination where the company offers accommodations.
Having launched earlier this year, KOALA has integrated into its platform data provided by information company AppliedXL, a Newlab Venture Studio.
Fully integrated into KOALA’s booking platform, the tracker will be in the form of an online dashboard that will aggregate comprehensive global data on coronavirus cases. Its aim is to provide travellers with transparency to make informed and educated travel decisions, allow them to view the number of reported positive coronavirus cases, trends in cases and preparation procedures for each destination, and ultimately reduce the spread of the virus.
Its listings include resorts in key destinations, such as the Sheraton Broadway Plantation in Myrtle Beach, Wyndham Park City, and Marriott’s Canyon Villas in Phoenix, each of which has its own Covid tracker. Most are set in resorts with prime features such as beachfront access, infinity pools, and full-service concierges, with available suites ranging from studios to four-bedroom penthouses.
Both Applied XL and KOALA are members of Newlab, a singular community of experts and innovators, based in Brooklyn, New York, who apply transformative technology to solve the world’s largest challenges.
The tracker will mine public and private datasets to combine them into one data dashboard and explorer. In addition, it will source data from John Hopkins University, the US Census Bureau, the World Bank, the Covid Tracking Project, USAFacts, and individual health authorities from various countries.
Co-founded by CEO Mike Kennedy and COO James Burbridge, KOALA had already raised $3.4 million in Series A capital led by investment specialists Ira Lubert and Dean Adler before the company’s official launch in August. The platform aims to enable timeshare owners to easily rent their properties to anyone in the world, while offering vacationers the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a timeshare without actually purchasing one.