Off Track Planet, a travel guide service provider, has raised $500,000 in funding from Brandery Accelerator, CincyTech and other angel investors.
This new fund will be used to to further expand its travel guide service with the launch of a new social travel discovery app.
The Brooklyn-based company (TLabs here) was founded in 2009 as a travel blog with the aim of offering high-quality travel guide content targeted at independent young travellers.
OTP co-founder/CEO, Freddie Pikovsky says:
"In order to build the most beautiful and intelligent travel guide, we needed to make it insanely easy and richer for people to share their experiences. Your travel stuff is scattered all over the place.
"We have pictures and bits of content fragmented on different social sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and there’s no easy way of putting it all together to tell your story."
The company pivoted to launch a travel app in which users can login with their social media credentials to organize all content by date, location, tags and keywords within a unified timeline. The app ultimately gives a neat and intuitive travel guide as output.
The company crowdsources and curates the communities content, finetunes it with the help of in-house editorial team.
This new app is currently in private beta mode. Currently, OTP is building what it calls as a core community of super-users that consists of travel experts, local experts, photographers and bloggers.
OTP is planning to make this new app available for public in Spring 2014 along with three city guides including Buenos Aires, Brooklyn, Berlin.
Diego Saez-Gil (read his 10 lessons I learned from building a travel startup), ex-CFO at OTP, moved on to found WeHostels. When asked Pikovsky about the team at OTP, he says:
"Myself and Anna (original co-founders) and we've added a CTO, Jack Boberg. Many of our original editors and writers are still part of the contributing network."