Ground transport planning service Roadtrippers has raised a $2.5 million series A round from new VC firm Drive Capital, which is backed by Sequoia alums Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen.
Roadtrippers, which Tnooz covered in a TLabs here, delivers an attractive, easy-to-use interface to plan road trips throughout the United States. The company has been focused on delivering a UX that elevates the road trip planning experience both to better serve the customer and to separate the startup from any other available overland planning tool for America.
The UX has become both a customer acquisition tool and a defensible advantage. The company recently signed up Travel Oregon on a hosted travel subdomain that actually replaces the tourism organization's trip planning tools.
As the white label partnerships add value to the company, they will also fuel the uptake of the company's new iPhone app. The app is slated to launch next week.
Drive Capital is a nascent VC firm dedicated to funding midwest companies, and is bullish about both the potential of midwest firms and Roadtrippers in particular. Partner Chris Olsen in the Cincinnati Business Journal, speaking of Roadtrippers co-founder James Fisher:
He’s really in the infancy of what’s possible. He has an audience that it seems to have struck a chord with the rubbernecking smartphone users,” Olsen said. “He’s growing and will be at millions of visitors in a short period of time, and it’s easy to see how he’ll soon have tens of millions. James’ is one of the fastest growing, and it’s easy to see he’ll be one of the biggest players in the space.
Roadtrippers laid out the following plans and growth metrics in an email to Tnooz:
We had a lot of interest in the A round due to solid growth numbers achieved on an almost non existent marketing budget. In the end went with Drive because of the guys' hands on experience with companies such as Linkedin, Airbnb, Funnyordie and Dropbox while at Sequoia. They are absolutely the right people to help us grow this into the next great travel company.
Funds will be used to continue building out product. We really consider what we have today as a prototype, and this money allows us to start doing the really awesome stuff that was just not easy enough on a low budget with a small dev team. We are assembling a dream team of developers and designers to take Roadtrippers to the next level.
We have been live about a year, grown traffic 50% month over month since launch. July numbers were 1.3m web visits, 750k uniques (with a very high repeat rate), 45k signups. We get very high engagement and time on site, with an average of 7 minutes. People that hit us though Google stay 25 mins on average. We have a bit over 200k registered users in total, accelerating very fast now.
Roadtrippers has raised $3.15m to date.