When the pandemic broke out last year, the travel industry suffered a major blow, with airlines, hotels, and technology companies such as Expedia or Airbnb falling sharply.
Despite these disadvantages, startups based in Portland, Oregon Troyes tour Not only can it survive, but it can also persuade investors to support its business.
The travel planning company on Tuesday announced a $5 million financing led by Seattle PSL Ventures, with the participation of former Orbitz CEO Barney Harford and Vacasa founder and former CEO Eric Breon. Elevate Capital and Oregon Venture Fund also invested.
Founded in 2017, TrovaTrip operates a market that matches tour group hosts with travelers. “Hosts” include content creators on social media who use TrovaTrip to generate revenue from fans; the company lets them set travel prices themselves. TrovaTrip works with travel agencies, which charge a basic fee and provide local guides for each group.
For example, suppose the basic rate charged by the operator is $1,000. “Host” can set the actual price.
TrovaTrip makes money by charging tour operators in exchange for their potential customers and travelers themselves. It has more than 110 itineraries in 40 countries.
“We are committed to helping others grow their business,” said the co-founder Lauren Schneider.
When the COVID-19 restrictions began last year, TrovaTrip bookings dropped by 75%. The company contacted content creators and learned that many people are trying to make money because the brand withdrew from its traditional sponsorship and brand ambassador programs.
The startup’s response is to provide creators with a new way of monetization. It helps them conduct surveys with the audience and make travel routes for future trips.
In fact, TrovaTrip had more bookings last year than before the pandemic. Schneider said the host successfully promoted the trip to the email list, using messaging focused on optimism, hope, and community. From more than 200 “owners” to 2022, more than 350 trips are planned.
She added: “We are able to sell travel products during the global pandemic and sell them in a way that is brand safe for content creators.” “This is how we arouse the interest of investors and give them the confidence to invest. A company like us.”
Chief Revenue Officer Schneider and CEO co-founded the company Nick PorgyBoth are graduates of the University of Oregon.
TrovaTrip will use the new funding to grow its 35-person team and add more tools for travel owners. It has previously raised $750,000.
Ben Gilbert, managing director of PSL Ventures, said in a statement: “We are pleased to lead this investment in TrovaTrip because the company is located at the intersection of the fast-growing creator economy and the re-emerging consumer travel industry.”