For travelers who have found themselves surrounded by Lonely Planet-wielding teenagers in a Mumbai beer bar or forcing down greasy pizza in a tacky Roman restaurant, Gogobot’s redesigned site, launched today, has a rescue plan. The new iteration will function like an interactive travel magazine with large photos and personalized recommendations based on your social graph. Rather than sorting through pages of anonymous reviews, trusting strangers on the fly, or visiting the same places as everyone else, users can draw from the collective wisdom of their friends.
The new features will emphasize compelling visual content as a companion to the suggestions. The goal is that browsing through the site feels like flipping through a glossy travel magazine, except that on Gogobot, the advice is provided by people you know and when a place piques your interest, you can click on it to find more information. It is a discovery as well as a planning tool.
“The rise of social and mobile technologies has completely transformed the way we consume information and interact with the world around us,” said CEO Travis Katz in a statement. “Gogobot is re-imagining trip planning for this new world, leveraging social and location data to always show you the most relevant information in a format that is both beautiful and useful.”
Gogobot recently surpassed 1 million registered users and has a new member joining every 15 seconds. According to a study conducted by AppData, it has significantly more traction than its competitors in the social travel network space, like Trippy, Trot, and Wanderfly. Because of this traction, the company has been able to secure $19 million in funding over the last year and a half from Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Innovation Endeavors.
The company started in 2010, after Katz and his wife grew frustrated with the arduous trip planning process, and has grown to 20 employees. It is based in Menlo Park, Calif.