On Thursday, Silicon Valley-startup Jetpac revealed that it has secured a $2.4 million investment round after going public last November as a Facebook-friend-powered photo album. In April, Jetpac debuted a destination discovery engine app for iPad.
In its scoop, TechCrunch reported that the Series A funding came from Khosla Ventures, Morado Venture Partners, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, and a major Facebook executive.
Browse your friends travel photos in a curated way
After an iPad user downloads the free app and links up their social networks like Facebook (and soon Flickr or Instagram), Jetpac creates a free travel magazine-like album from the photographs the user and his and her friends have uploaded to the social networks.
Jetpac analyzes the photos, pinpoints photo locations and activities pictured, and creates galleries out of a selection of the shots, such as by removing photos tagged with the names of parents.
The app then creates recommendations of attractions, and users can directly contact the friends who have visited the locations. Jetpac has the ability to generate a list of a user's best traveled friends, too.
Venture capital doubles down on social travel
Jetpac is buzzed about in Silicon Valley because it is confounded by Pete Warden, a renowned Big Data savant who is formerly of Apple, and angel investor Julian Green, who has bootstrapped social commerce sites and a consumer iPad app.
The funding news comes on the heels of last week's announcement that Triposo, a Big Data-powered travel guide app that has been downloaded more than 2 million times by iOS users, raked in $3.5 million in funding.
Khosla Ventures, powered by Vinod Khosla, co- Founder of Sun Microsystems, sees travel discovery as a promising vertical. In March, it invested in soon-to-launch travel inspiration-suggestion service Peek.
Morado Venture Partners, the seed fund of ex-Yahoo executives Ash Patel and Michael Marquez, eHarmony's Galen Buckwalter, and San Diego angel investor Bob Bingham, also thinks this social-travel space has promise, having invested a half-million in HipGeo, a kind of photo-based version of Foursquare that enables check-in, photo-sharing, and travel-recommendation via an app.