Triptrotting picked up $1 million in funding from Google Ventures and other angels, capping off a pretty big week for women-led, social-travel-oriented startups.
Also this week, Tripbod, which like Triptrotting connects travelers and locals, picked up what is believed to be an upper-six-figure sum from an unidentified but apparently well-heeled angelic type.
Founded in 2010 by Aigerim Shorman and Shana Zheng, Triptrotting pairs travelers and local hosts through compatibility-matching algorithms developed by Galen Buckwalter, the former chief scientist at dating site eHarmony.
Contributing to the Triptrotting funding infusion were Google Ventures, Mark Suster (LaunchpadLA), Dave McClure (500 Startups), Bill Gross (Idealab), WI Harper Group, Safa Rashtchy, Eric Chen and other angels, Triptrotting says.
That brings Triptrotting's funding to date to $1.3 million.
Zheng of Triptrotting says the company will use the new funding for product development and has already hired an additional engineer to participate in the effort.
And, Shorman explains that Triptrotting is differentiating itself from other travel-like locals services by emphasizing offline activities and "connecting people with complete strangers," not professional tour guides.
The "majority are doing this for free," Shorman says, referring to local hosts.
When people ask where are all the women in travel technology, one answer is that they are in startup-land.
In addition to Shorman and Zheng at Triptrotting and Sally Broom and Liz Sutcliffe at Tripbod, Brittany Laughlin of award-winning site Gtrot was making some news, as well, as Gtrot revealed it will transition from trip-planning into a local-oriented city discovery service.
"What's really exciting is that we all started around the same time and come from completely different backgrounds," says Shorman, referring to the three startups. "It really shows the travel industry is due for a change and improvements and hasn't gone through any major technical developments for a very long time."
The fact that "Facebook is so accessible now," coupled with the popularity of Twitter and other social networks, has helped spur some of the change, Shorman adds.
It seems that travel tech, for this week at least, was all about women leaders in local and socially oriented travel startups.
And, is it mere coincidence that March 8, 2012, is International Women's Day?