Delhi-based Tripoto Travel Pvt Ltd, which owns and operatesTripoto.com, a platform that enables users to crowd source travel itineraries and share their experiences, has raised $400,000 (Rs 2.46 crore) in seed funding led by Outbox Ventures. Palaash Ventures, a Delhi-based early-and-growth-stage VC fund also participated in the round.
Other angel investors in the round included Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal; Sachin Bhatia, founder, MakeMyTrip and TrulyMadly.com; LetsVenture founder Shanti Mohan; Nikunj Jain, founder, Frankly.me and Inoxapps; Romi Mahajan; and Arvind Vohra, director, Gionee India.
The funds will be used in building the content team and for technology development. The company already offers an Android app, and is planning to launch one for the iOS platform in a week's time.
"We intend to use the funds to build a quality driven content team and consolidate technology for a seamless customer experience," said Tripoto co-founder Anirudh Gupta. "We plan to raise the next round in 8-12 months."
The company was founded in September last year by Gupta along with Michael Pargal Lyngdoh. An IIT Delhi and Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad alumnus, Gupta earlier co-founded another startup called Notion Ink. Prior to that, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Rocket Internet in Dubai. His partner Lyngdoh holds a master's degree in Economics from Delhi School of Economics and an MBA from ISB. Prior to co-founding Tripoto, he co-founded HST Operations (now HST Solar).
"We will make concentrated efforts to scale our travel community globally and make Tripoto the preferred choice for travellers when it comes to sharing their travel itineraries and stories, both on the web and mobile," added Lyngdoh.
Tripoto allows travellers to post their travel itineraries and stories along with pictures, maps and reviews. The information can be shared either publically or privately with friends. The publically shared travel itineraries are accessible for the whole travel community to use and benefit from. According to the company, the site is getting around three lakh unique visitors on a monthly basis and more than 6.5 lakh unique page views.
"We used to listen to the stories of thousands of travellers across India and realised that these stories need to be brought together on a single platform for easy search and discovery. This led to the launch of Tripoto," said Gupta. "Our platform makes it easy for users to share their stories and more importantly, present these in a way that other travellers can use them. We are also bringing together travellers from around the world to share and discover real, actionable crowd sourced travel stories."
While the company is generating revenues through ads and sponsored posts, the focus is more on scaling the community and users. "But we do plan to generate revenue through ads, affiliate channels and hotels stay integration from the itineraries created on Tripoto," added Gupta.
Globally, companies such as Maptia, Tripline and Vayable are working towards similar objectives. While Maptia gathers travel stories, Tripline enables users to create shareable, animated maps that one can post right into their social feeds. Vayable is a marketplace where one can book unique travel experiences from locals.
In India, Bangalore-based companies TripThirsty and Thrillophilia are offering a marketplace model where buyers and sellers of travel activities and tours can interact.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)