If you’re tired of Travel Channel reruns, New York City-based Tripl wants to offer you a more social alternative: a simple way to follow your friends’ travels via geographical information in their social media posts.
While it won’t compete with a well-crafted Anthony Bourdain show, Tripl could let you live vicariously through your friends’ experiences, and hopefully even inspire you to travel more. The site connects to your Facebook and Foursquare accounts to collect travel information from your friends, and it gives you beautiful daily digests of their postings.
Tripl was founded in 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden with the original goal of pairing travelers with locals. It released an early version of that web application last December, but since then the company has joined NYC’s Dreamit Ventures Summer class and has pivoted to focus more on collecting travel stories.
“You hear about tons of startups going through a pivot phase during incubators. What we’re doing is really a ‘focus’ phase, by focusing 100% of our attention on 20% of the previous product we built,” said founder and CEO Pete Sullivan in a statement today. He says that the company is avoiding getting too feature rich quickly, even though there are plenty of cool additions the team is eager to jump on.
Originally from the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn, Sullivan caught the travel bug at a young age thanks to his family’s love of international travel, he told VentureBeat in an interview several weeks ago. He continued to travel when he got older and quickly realized how much better his experiences were when he had friends in the area. That sparked the initial idea for Tripl, and it’s something that the company could still return to eventually.
For now, Tripl is focusing on social travel stories. The company aims to add support for Instagram soon and will launch an iOS app in the next few weeks.
Tripl raised $300,000 from three angel investors in Sweden last year as well as $300,000 in debt financing from High Peak Venture Partners and Quotidian Capital in March. The company has also received a private investment from a pro poker player, as well as a grant from the Swedish government.
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