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A young company marries dating algorithms with travel hosting services to enrich globe trotting
A traveling community platform, Triptrotting, announced Thursday that it landed a $1 million Series A round of funding. The latest round was included funds from Google Ventures, Mark Suster (LaunchpadLA), Dave McClure (500 Startups), Bill Gross (Idealab), WI Harper Group, Safa Rashtchy, Eric Chen and other angel investors bringing its total funding to $1.3 million to date.
The premise of Triptrotting is to inform and empower travelers before they board a flight to a far-away land by connecting them with people that live in their desired destination. I mean its always better to get advice from a local.
The level of connection and information can range from actually hosting a traveler at your house to taking them on a tour or just communicating online and then meeting for a coffee when they arrive.
One of the most interesting aspects of this travel network is just how closely it is tied to matching sites like eHarmony, since Triptrotting utilizes algorithms to match travelers with hosts. But this could also be because the Triptrotting math was developed in consultation with former eHarmony chief scientist Galen Buckwalter.
While the service is mostly about helping travelers have a more informed and cultural experience, hosts can ask to be paid tips for specific services such as serving as a tour guide.
As a traveling female, I would likely not want to stay at a host's home or have them pick me up from the airport, by Triptrotting does point out that they take some precautions to assure that the members are who they claim to be and encourage thorough reviews of members.
Triptrotting also was able to instill a great deal of user confidence at the start of the business by working with universities and professional organizations.
Triptrotting now has a presence in more than 2,000 cities and 150 countries.
Triptrotting was founded in 2010 by avid travelers and University of Southern California graduates Aigerim Duiseneyeva and Shana Zheng -- inspired by their shared interest in meeting the people that live in the places they are exploring and will use the new funding to build the platform and usership.
Last year we reported on a site that help connect travelers with locals by melding CouchSurfing.com and Airbnb. Social travel site Tripping.com announced last year $450,000 of a planned $1 million seed investment round led by Quest Venture Partners (QVP) with participation expected from other “micro-VC” firms and super angels.
Tripping leans more toward the CouchSurfing model than to Airbnb, since hosts are not expected to be compensated monetarily. Instead, it’s all about the experience. For those not particularly keen on having a slumber party with a complete stranger, the Tripping platform still wants to match people together for different kinds of meetups. The company suggests exchanging language lessons, having a coffee or showing off your favorite city spots.
And another site, Tripl.com, secured $300,000 last summer, which was just getting started as an evolution of another site: Vacation Relation. Tripl is about creating a more social and global world through the experience of travel. Tripl connects recommended travelers, locals, and people connected to your existing social networks. Their platform is available for both consumers and online travel businesses.
So for those with the money to do so, traveling the globe is looking like a more personalized and enticing option.
(Image Source: Wander Woman)
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Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs
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Triptrotting re-launched its site in May, 2011 with only 500 members, and by June 2011 already has thousands of users in 500+ cities across 100+ countries.
In January 2011, Triptrotting received seed funding from Bill Gross' Idealab, leading creator and operator of technology companies.
In May 2010, Triptrotting placed 2nd at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business Seed Competition on the MBA level
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Airbnb.com is the “Ebay of space.” The online marketplace allows anyone from private residents to commercial properties to rent out their extra space. The reputation-based site allows for user reviews, verification, and online transactions, for which Airbnb takes a commission. As of June, 2009, the San Francisco-based company has listings in over 1062 cities in 76 countries.
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Tripping gives travelers a safe and easy way to connect with local people for tips, shared cups of coffee and even home stays.
We launched in January and already have thousands of members from 100+ countries. Our partners include Ivy League universities, study abroad programs, major rock bands and international volunteer organizations.
To learn more, visit https://www.tripping.com.
Joined Vator onAigerim is a founder of Triptrotting, a community of like-minded travelers and locals. Prior to Triptrotting Aigerim was part of Teach For America and worked at UBS investment bank.