Business

Tourism tech firm using augmented reality eyeing quarter one 2022 rollout

Bahama Myfi is eyeing a quarter one 2022 rollout of its completed augmented reality platform.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer Marcian Cash said it will change the way visitors interact with areas, art and culture across the country, while integrating a business-to-business marketplace.

Cash told Guardian Business that the platform, which has been in development since 2017, is like nothing that is being provided anywhere across the world.

The augmented reality component has grown so quickly that the company is sourcing space and equipment to build a studio in order to keep up with the amount of content the Bahama Myfi application will and can handle, including digital avatars that pop up on the streets when a mobile device is pointed in the right direct.

Cash also explained that Bahama Myfi has secured a deal to provide the inflight magazine for all American Airlines flights coming into The Bahamas. The magazine, known as ‘Discover Bahamas’ will be onboard flights beginning February 2022.

Cash, who was a guest on Morning Blend Business on Guardian Radio 96.9 yesterday, said he amassed data on what was missing from this country’s tourism product and Bahama Myfi was born.

Cash explained that the company provides experiences for tourists on one side, and marketing that makes companies stand out on the other. 

“After doing the research, we decided it was very much necessary to do just that (tourism product and business-to-business) and we realize that worldwide there was nobody doing it, which was quite surprising,” said Cash.

“When you look at the region and the world market it’s a multibillion-dollar industry, and we found ourselves playing in a somewhat bigger market than we thought we would be.

“We started off with The Bahamas, but all of a sudden we were developing for world markets and that is where Bahama Myfi is right now, four years later.”

He said the product has gone through lots of research and development and failures and successes, and now grown to become a “platform that no one else has”.

Cash said there is a lot of local and international interest in the platform.

Bahama Myfi is now available on ArawakX’s crowdfunding platform for Bahamians to invest in. The company hopes to raise $2.1 million.

Cash said as a self-funded company since its start, it was time to allow Bahamians to have some ownership opportunity.

“As the company started to grow and we saw where we were going, it became obvious we would need some capital investment, and the first way we thought about doing that was by private equity,” he said.

“When you go the private equity way, usually the Bahamian (entrepreneur) ends up giving away quite a substantial amount of the company’s equity 

“(Through ArawakX) there was opportunity to be able to get Bahamian ownership and also leverage the amount of equity I could parlay over the course of the next few years.”

Cash explained that the company is two months from a working prototype and the funding will secure technology assets it needs to complete the final stages of development.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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