In 2013, as a team of five, we decided the world needed a single, universal shopping basket. Somewhere customers could save and purchase any product from any online store. So we took-on the considerable technical challenge to achieve that goal. We found that the web is a labyrinth of the beautiful and the broken. Purchases aren’t necessarily simple even for the humans they’re designed for – and mobile was (still is) broken when it comes to purchasing. Engineering a technology to cope with that labyrinth and add meaning to it so computers could transact like humans became a huge and engrossing challenge for us.
We realized quickly that many businesses present beautiful, curated shopping experiences to their customers – but could only go as far as that. No matter how delightful their product discovery was shoppers had to jump out to the retailer to purchase. This really didn’t work well. The leap was reason enough for them to drop out of a purchase in many cases, and if they did proceed, difficult – if not unusable checkout experiences usually followed – especially on mobile. So we offered them the underlying technology to provide the full-funnel experience: a basket and automated checkout in the cloud. We’d bear that pain so their users were free to get on with more important things like discovering more products.
We also began to explore other markets and realized the travel industry had an even bigger challenge. Metasearch, like aggregated retail, couldn’t control the full experience. They provided incredibly successful search experiences, but what if they could contain the customer journey and enable direct booking? We could take an enormous industry, where more than 80% of transactions already happen online, and really allow it to take off. Alongside our travel partners, we’re now working with price comparison businesses and financial services to provide the same advantage to a different industry vertical with similar challenges.
At the same time, we've moved to the next generation of our infrastructure and pared our service back to provide core Robotic Connectivity Automation: A simple API that powers automation on any supplier. We look to a future where anything bookable, buyable, or tediously repetitive might be automated away. And we plan to get the UBIO automation toolset in every developer’s hands
by opening up our service. We think that anything that ought to be connected shall be connected and we hope our robots will be doing a lot of the hard work.
We’re a team of twenty three now, headquartered in London and working in the UK, Romania, and Russia, and we’re still gripped by the challenge of web automation.