Mobile app startups: TripUniq, Esplorio and Btrfly

This is a regular roundup of some of the latest mobile application startup launches in travel covering everything from trip inspiration and planning to virtual assistants.

 

TripUniq

What does it do?

TripUniq started in beta last October and aims to help people decide what to do during a city break. The app tries to imitate what it would be like having a friend show you round a destination by providing itineraries put together by locals. The info is available offline.

Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

Chief executive Charles Elias says:

“Nowadays, searching flights and accommodation is relatively simple; however, planning what to do in destination is long and difficult:

  • Hours of online searching between an overwhelming amount of information
  • Many doubts and hard choices, FOMO
  • Lack of local knowledge
  • Loss of precious “vacation” time in destination

Once accommodation and flights are booked, travelers’ following need is having a great time and making the most of their trip. However, all the existing solutions (Review sites, travel apps, blogs, guidebooks…) only deliver them information when their need is wider and they still have to plan the trip by themselves, which can take many hours of research. tripUniq is the first one to solve this need from start to end with a customized travel planning service made by local experts.”

Who is behind it?

Chief executive Charles Elias previously co-founded Offerum.com, a daily deal site which reached Euro 18M in revenues and had 3M users. Other members of the team are also from Offerum.

What else? 

The company is currently seeking funding and is also part of Spain-based accelerator SeedRocket.

 

Esplorio

What does it do?

Esplorio lets users record and share their travels. The app checks users in to favourite places, maps out routes via GPS and uploads photos to a digital travel journal like this one. It claims to do this without using mobile roaming.

Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

Chief marketing officer Essa Saulat says:

“There is currently no way to record your travels with a sufficient level of detail (routes, places and photos) without either compromising battery life or causing your roaming data bill to skyrocket.

Travellers’ journeys are rich in context and narrative, but much of this is lost when photos are simply uploaded into a Facebook album or onto other social media services.

Current solutions to these problems, such as using a combination of social media networks and using GPS tracking devices, require a fair amount of time/effort and are not suited to the general traveller.

We solve these issues by:

  • Providing a simple and automatic way to record and share all aspects of one’s travels (routes, checkins and photos), helping people share journeys rather than just moments.
  • Removing the need to use multiple social networks/services to record and share a trip, allowing users to focus more on their adventures.
  • Doing so without compromising battery life or requiring roaming data, two of the largest concerns travellers have with such apps.”

Who is behind it?

Chief executive Tim Fernando has worked for the University of Oxford and has a background in aerospace and computer science. Chief marketing officer Essa Saulat has worked for digital agency Edge Asia and has a background in business, economics and management. Chief technology officer Sean Pham has worked for Ocado Technology and has a background in computer science.

What else?

The startup raised seed funding of about £200,000 in the first quarter of 2015 from angel investors, London’s Startup Funding Club and grant funding from the European Space Agency. is an alumnus of various incubators and accelerators including the University of Oxford Software Incubator and the FFWD London Accelerator. It is currently based at the London Traveltech Lab.

 

Btrfly

What is it?

The app aims to help business travellers use the airport to connect and do networking. Users enter a flight into the app to see who else is on the flight or at the airport. The service also provides flight status updates.

Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

Chief executive Cenk Gurz says:

“As a frequent traveller, I came to realise that air travel is an amazing opportunity to extend one’s professional network. I met colleagues and even clients on flights, however it all depends on your luck – whether you’re sitting next to the right person in the lounge or on the flight.

btrfly removes reliance on coincidence and provides business travellers with a tool that makes it easy to find interesting connections, and takes the awkwardness out of reaching out to strangers in an airport.

We built the app and now we’re building an active hub for business travellers to engage with and in turn grow a new platform for networking.”

Who is behind it?

Btrfly was founded by school friends Cenk Gurz and Kerim Baki. Kermin previously worked within the IT department at HSBC and Cenk worked within financial services for companies including EMEA Capital LLP and Credit Suisse.

What else?

Btfly has had funding in place for over a year and the team is now in discussions with venture capital firms for future funding. The company is a member of London-based incubator Traveltech Lab.

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