Wednesday, April 25, 2007

TripIt - not sure what they do but they have a million bucks to do it with

Alarm:Clock and Venture Beat are both carrying the story that pre-launch TripIt has raised a million dollars in funding from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Front page of the site gives away nothing as to what this million bucks will do but does have a catchy phrase about how online travel needs a new model. The only executive/f0under mentioned in the articles is Greg Brockway - formally of Expedia where he was originally the Chief Product Office (and a founder) at Hotwire before moving to run the offline wholesaler Classic Vacations.

A million dollars is a good money for a pre-launch start-up, especially in the crowded travel space. You could see this as evidence that there are still amazing opportunities for idea clutching entrepreneurs in online travel to raise funds. However as a co-founder of Hotwire, Brockway is not your typical idea clutching online travel entrepreneur because with the sale of Hotwire to Expedia (well really to InterActive but same thing) for $665 million plus in 2003 he made lot of money for PE power-house firm Texas Pacific Group (as well as airlines American, America West, Continental, Northwest, United and USAirways).

Good to see former Expedia staff sticking with online travel rather than start-ups in real estate, shopping, legal affairs and social networking.

UPDATE - looks like Expedia likes finding Classic Vacations bosses from Hotwire. News from the US TravelWeekly is that the new head of Classic will be Tim Mcdonald who, like Brockway, was in his previous role the head of product at Hotwire

UPDATE 2 - Here is how Greg Brockway describes what Tripit will do (thanks to Hotelmarketing)
"Online travel is more than a decade old and travelers use multiple sites to book their trips. TripIt is the next wave in online travel, helping travelers consolidate and organize all their travel no matter where they book.
With TripIt, you simply email us your travel confirmation emails and we do the rest. First, we’ll automatically add the basic information you need to make almost every trip easier, such as maps, weather, directions, destination info and more. Second, we’ll help you share your travel plans with the people who need to know--friends, family & co-workers. Third, with a consolidated view of your plans, we can anticipate user needs and make relevant suggestions. Finally, by integrating with the applications people use most, TripIt will give you access to the right information when and where you need it - online, in print, via mobile, or in your calendar."

Still not sure how that works so will have to wait until I can see it in action.


Anonymous said...

TripIt is based in San Francisco and has a couple more ex-Hotwire folks: Scott Hintz former SVP Product and Thor Denmark former Hotwire architect.

Another San Francisco travel tech company popular with Hotwire alums is my company, EzRez Software with 4 ex-Hotwire and three ex-Travelocity folks.

Tim Hughes said...

Ian- thanks for the tips and insight.

samdaams said...

You'd think with a million dollars at least their 'sign up for more info' form would work.... I'm getting a 400 Bad Request error when submitting :(