At the end of last week, Tripl announced it is travelling out of private beta and is hoping to find people to connect with in the real world. We covered their $300,000 funding round last May, but if you don’t remember their service, they’re another Swedish startup in the social travel sphere. Tripl searches your and your friends’ connections and check-ins from Facebook to help you meet the locals whenever you’re in a strange city. And when you’re just at home, I suppose Tripl is sort of like Couch Surfing. You get to meet with new people who come visit your city, except without some stranger staying the night.
One of the first things you have to say about the site is that it looks nice. It’s well designed, has a decent interface, and a smooth, light color palette. When first connecting to the site through Facebook, it scans your connections and gives you a score based on the number of trips you’ve taken and the internationality of your connections, to give some gamification to the service.
Tripl keeps you updated with your friends’ trips by helping request recommendations. If you add a trip to say London, your friends who know someone is London will be asked to recommend a friend and set up an introduction for you. For those of us who don’t have the luxury to travel so often, Tripl allows users to engage with global travelers coming to their city and creates notifications based on social relevancy. To give an incentive to hang out with travelers, they plan to provide travel discounts for locals with awesome reputations for whenever they do decide to pack their suitcase.
Their larger vision is to become the central platform based around social structured travel data. They hope to provide online travel agencies with a much richer post-booking experience for their users, which enables them to retain loyalty and increase sales through socially re-targeting travel products. “Our goal in the future is to help companies sell their travel products better. There needs to be a central platform that is agnostic for all travel companies to benefit from,” says Peter Sullivan, co-founder of Tripl. They also plan to open their API very shortly.
So far no one has been able to emerge as the market leader of social travel. During their private beta Tripl facilitated over 14,000 user created social recommendations, and we’ll have to check on their growth as they continue.