Like most of us, Anirudh Gupta and Michael Lyngdoh love to travel. But what sets the two apart from is that they made travel their work. The two friends started Tripoto, an online platform that brings together travelers from around the world to “share and discover real and actionable crowd-sourced travel stories.”
Since they launched their venture in August 2013, they have set their minds on democratising the travel industry. Though there are many startups in this space either catering to air, bus or train ticket booking, hotel discovery and bookings etc, what Tripoto does is build an online community of travelers who can post their travelogues through the website’s publishing tools as well as benefit from other travelers by exchanging information and stories of places.
In the past few months, they have seen high growth in terms of traffic to their website (tripoto.com). They recorded half a million unique visitors this month. They have also launched their app on both Android and iOS platforms.
Last month, Tripoto raised a seed investment of $400,000 from angel investors led by Outbox Ventures, including Snapdeal’s founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal. Sachin Bhatia, founder of Makemytrip and Trulymadly, also participated in the round. According to Anirudh, they now plan to focus more on developing their technology to provide a seamless experience to travellers. They are also in talks with larger startups and corporates like Airbnb and Expedia to integrate aspects like home-stays thereby creating more value for the user. The startup maps every single destination with its associated photograph and content, as content and reviews are still very poorly tied to destinations (especially in the developing world). “We aim to get credible information about it from real travelers. People in India are no longer satisfied with the usual ‘Agra tours’ or ‘Golden Triangle’ tours. They are constantly looking for inspiring experiences,” Anirudh told YourStory in an earlier interaction.Anirudh and Michael met at ISB in Hyderabad, where they discovered their mutual love for travel. “Business schools are a great place to meet your co-founder as you can find people with different backgrounds and interests on the campus,” adds Lyngdoh. However, since the two started Tripoto, they have not taken a trip together. And the way their startup is growing, it may be a while before they do!
Dipti Nair, consulting
editor at YourStory.com