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Tripping Announces $1M Seed Investment, Led by Quest Venture Partners
July 11, 2011 - San Francisco - Tripping.com, a progressive social travel site connecting travelers with local hosts for immersive cultural experiences, today announced that it has received Seed funding from one of the leading VC funds in Silicon Valley to fuel its growth and marketing expansion worldwide.
The new funding will total up to $1M, led by Quest Venture Partners (QVP) with a $450K investment and additional funding expected to close shortly from other Micro-VC and "Superangel" partners. Through this investment, Tripping has officially exited Beta and plans to aggressively grow site membership (currently located in more than 130 countries). Since Tripping's Beta launch in 2010, thousands of people have used the site to connect for travel tips, shared cultural experiences and homestays around the world.
In addition to growing virally - over 45% of new members say they heard about Tripping from a friend - the company has also secured partnerships with more than 30 organizations seeking micro-communities on Tripping (the largest of which has 18 million members alone). With these strategic alliances in place and Seed funding in the bank, Tripping is poised to become the leading peer-to-peer site for cultural exchange.
Tripping was started by experienced entrepreneurs from StubHubTM and TravelzooTM who wanted to create a safe and easy way for travelers to meet local people. Since members use Tripping to meet each other offline, the site offers a wide range of safety mechanisms including references, anonymous ratings, video validation and an emergency hotline for all of its members. These unique safety features help to ensure that all members are provided with a safe experience while traveling around the world.
"Bootstrapping has been a fun challenge, but we're ready to take Tripping to the next level," said Jen O'Neal, co-founder and CEO of Tripping. "We're proud that QVP chose to invest in our team, especially given their successful track record of spotting visionary companies early in their growth cycle."
"Jen and her team are passionate evangelists of their vision and they have built a wonderful resource for travelers and locals alike," said Andrew Ogawa, Managing Partner at QVP. "Tripping is changing the way people plan their trip, interact with locals and expand their circle of friends through travel - very exciting!"
"I'm an entrepreneur and so I'm always on a tight budget. When I came to San Francisco for the Google I/O Conference last May, I used Tripping to find a free place to stay - but I soon realized that it's so much more than that," said Shay Erov, a Tripping member from Israel. "You get to feel the real vibe of a place, rather than seeing the tourist scene. Tripping makes it easy to meet new friends and I've had a chance to see many places in the US you don't usually see - I can't wait to show Trippers around Israel!"
"When I travel, I plan nothing. I just make sure to spend my time with the locals, as I know for sure I'll have the best experiences. There are loving people everywhere in the world who are happy to open their doors for you, introduce you to their culture and share their lives with you," said Jamal Jawhar, a Tripping member and Fulbright scholar from Syria. "Tripping is filled with people like this and it's quickly becoming a cultural bridge for spreading tolerance and peace."