TravelPost for sale and attention turns to TroverNewsBy Dennis Schaal | July 28, 2011Share This article was originally published on With the collapse of the idea of creating a game-changing new TravelPost, its owners have put it up for sale and are turning their attention and the hotel review site's funding over to their new iPhone app and website, Trover."We are evaluating our options," says TravelPost and Trover chairman Rich Barton, the Expedia founder, referring to TravelPost. "We are absolutely entertaining offers for the URL and business. We are talking with people about it right now."The turnaround in direction was evident for months.A bunch of Expedia alums, including Barton, Greg Slyngstad and Simon Breakwell, came together in early 2010 and bought TravelPost from Kayak for $3.6 million in cash and 800,000 shares. Kayak thus has a stake in TravelPost's future.The idea and hope was that the dream team would put their heads together, and with all that talent in the room, draw up something that might emerge as a new travel category akin to the game-changing attributes of metasearch or user-generated content.But, those inflated hopes came crashing down when the launch of the new TravelPost was delayed last November, and by January 2011 the bulk of the staff had been given their walking papers and two-thirds of the dream team, with Barton remaining, had ceased playing active roles.In April, the management team at TravelPost created Trover LLC as a TravelPost subsidiary and what's left of the $9.8 million in Series A funding that they'd raised in March 2010 has been earmarked for Trover. The funding came from a slew of individual investors, as well as General Catalyst Partners, Ignition Partners and Benchmark Capital.For now, with a possible sale in the offing, TravelPost will continue to operate, although no development resources are being put into it, says Jason Karas, who headed product development last year at TravelPost and is now CEO of TravelPost and Trover.Based in Seattle, Trover and TravelPost currently have six full-time employees, including Karas.Karas isn't saying what exactly went wrong with the mission to reinvent TravelPost, but says the vision for a new type of hotel recommendation offering changed "and we recognized Trover was a different opportunity."Trover, primarily an iPhone app with a website that has been relaunched today, has its allures and shouldn't be dismissed.It is a social travel guide in pictures, enabling users to share photos and information about their neighborhoods and travels.Karas says Trover helps solve the problem of the difficulties in travelers sharing their experiences when on the road, and the smartphone's camera and geolocation features ease the process.Trover had been in beta for for Facebook users over the past three months and attracted 70,000 users in 150 countries, Karas says. Trover is now officially launching and opening up its invitees through Twitter and email, the company says.Karas says Trover expected to attract a lot of restaurant photos during the trial, but unexpected was the app being embraced by the street-art community, as well, he says. There are plenty of grafitti spottings to be found in Trover.The website doesn't currently offer the ability to post photos, but you can enter your address or town and browse loads of photos about nearby things to do and see.Karas says Trover has plenty of ideas on how to monetize the app in the future, including integrating targeted deals.And, an Android app is in the works."We're focused on making this a magical tool," Karas says. "We have a slew of ideas about deploying offers in the interface, but it's a ways off."