Triposo uses algorithms to make travel guides from open source travel content.
Last month, the Netherlands-based startup topped up a seed round of funding from Taher Haveliwala, Lars Rasmussen, Chris Sacca, and InterWest Partners with a small contribution from CrunchFund, bringing company’s total funding to $700,000.
Now, according to an SEC filing, the company has raised $4.2 million in what appears to be a Series A round. The round has room to go up to $5.3 million.
The app has content on more than 8,000 points of interest and 250,000 places. Its use of openly available content to do essentially what Lonely Planet does but with robots reminds me of the way Boundless uses open source information to create textbook equivalents.
It works offline so international travelers can still use the app when they don’t have service. More than a 1.7 million users have downloaded it.
That traction is impressive, considering the app only launched last Fall in a very crowded space. Some members of the latest class of travel apps are very utilitarian, like Triposo, or Tripit, the planning app. Some are purely inspiration-focused, like Wander. Many fall somewhere in between, with various degrees of social integration. Trippy is particularly social, facilitating the sharing of travel inspiration and ideas between friends. Same for Gogobot. Wanderfly includes inspiration, recommendations, and planning. The list goes on.
The one thing I hear from investors is that they’re all in a land grab for users. No matter how useful or inspirational each of them are, there is a limit to how many of these apps we’ll all sign up for or download. And whichever one gains the most users will be able to close the loop — offering travel services or bookings — on monetization first. Gtrot, for example, as already ducked out, choosing instead to focus on local guides.
If Triposo wins, it’ll be because the company’s app is useful in a pinch. That moment of panic, when you’re out and about in a foreign country and realize, shit, my phone is useless, will make Triposo into a travel hero every time.