Friday, January 23, 2009

Tripwolf Raises another $2.5 million from MairDumont and others

Yesterday TechCrunch noted that Austrian based online travel guide/planning site TripWolf raised another $2.5mm in funding. Leads (according to TechCrunch) are their current investor and media partner MairDzumont and Dieter von Holtzbrinck. My profile of TripWolf and their relationship with MairDumont is here. Congrats to CEO Sebastian Heinze and team.


Jonathan said...

Firstly, congratulations to the tripwolf team! It is great to hear that innovative companies are having some success raising funds still in this current economic climate.

I have a question for you Tim. Do you think that sites like tripwolf should really be classified as "travel planning websites" or should they be referred to as "travel research websites"?

Granted, Tripwolf (and the many other similar sites popping up recently) have a growing amount of information to help people make a more informed decision before they travel, but they hardly provide the required functionality for people to "plan their travel".

Do a search for "Sydney" with Tripwolf for instance and then try to plan your entire trip on their website - good luck with that.

I would class a travel planning website as a site that actually lets you pre-plan all aspects of your trip (flights, accommodation, places to visit, activities to do) in detail along with maps, directions, pricing, availability, weather forecasts and more, so that you can see that everything is going to go smoothly before you depart and then use this to implement their plans when they arrive.

I have even heard people call tripit a travel planning service. Correctly so however, they class themselves as a "travel organising" service.

I believe that a travel planning website is not a website that just helps you find/save travel information and thus helps you plan your travel (otherwise we could call google a travel planning website), but rather a website on which you actually plan your travel (by creating a travel itinerary on the site).

There are a few services that have popped up recently that do let people create an itinerary with points of interest and make good use of maps, but tripwolf (along with many others) is not one of them.

I think that with the whole travel 2.0 space becoming more crowded, these websites need to be correctly classified for what they really are, not just all classed under the "travel planner" umbrella.

Tim Hughes said...

@Jonathan - I have to be upfront and admit that I am confused in this area. I am trying to figure out how to group content and community sites and if it is necessary to group them. It is clear that the OTAs have focused on the "last mile" of travel - the booking. Leaving the thinking, planning, discovering, searching, organising etc to the traveller. This is the space that the Tripworfs, TripAdvisors, TripIts, Triporatis of the world (and even some companies without the word trip in their title) are trying to fill. But how they each fit in the complicated venn diagram of travel planning and how each one competes with or complements the other...I still havent got that figured out. I can feel a post coming on about this.

Jonathan said...

I look forward to that post =).

If these sites wish to make things easier for travellers, then I think that it is important to provide the user with clarity as to what need each one fills or does not fill.

Correctly classifying the sites seems like the only way to provide this clarity quickly and easily.

Charlotte07 said...

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Tim Hughes said...

@Charlotte - this blog and this post is not a place for your to promote your site. I wont delete it as spam because I think there will be more of a disincentive for others to see me telling you that a sales pitch comment is not welcome.