Tripscout raises $14 million and launches hotel booking via Instagram
Tripscout is launching a hotel booking platform that co-founder and CEO Konrad Waliszewski says will offer private rates with discounts up to 75% below the best publicly available rates.
Rates will only be accessible through a private, closed user group that travelers join by sending a direct message with the word “hotel” to Tripscout’s @hotel Instagram account – or one of more than 100 secondary accounts that the company also operates, such as @paris.explore and @newyorkcity.explore – which together have more than 30 million followers. The booking feature is launching today on 20 accounts and rolling out to the remaining accounts over the next two months.
Once this message is sent, the user is connected to a chatbot which connects to a booking platform with typical search and filter functions and a global inventory of bedbanks, online travel agencies and other providers . The booking platform link is unique to the account that sent the initial direct message.
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“Social media is the new SEO, but the legacy travel industry was built on transactional interactions, fueled by billions in annual ad spend. We approached the market quite differently. We built a large, passionate and loyal following of frequent travelers, and we’re excited to launch these groundbreaking private offers on Instagram, so they can travel more, travel better, and spend less in a post-pandemic world,” says Waliszewski.
Along with this launch, the company announces that it has raised nearly $14 million. Of this amount, $10.25 million is a Series A funding led by existing investors Accomplice and Corazon Capital, with participation from other existing investors MATH Venture Partners, New Stack Ventures and M25, and $3.5 million from dollars are venture capital debt of Triple Point Capital.
Waliszewski says the company will use the funding to continue to grow the booking platform, to grow subscribers across all of its accounts with the goal of having 100 million next year, and to invest in partnerships with travel content creators and influencers to add more “interesting and compelling photos and videos” to its accounts and for its hotel partners.
“Social media is the new SEO, but the legacy travel industry was built on transactional interactions, driven by billions in annual advertising spend,” says Waliszewski.
“We approached the market quite differently. We’ve built a large, passionate and loyal following of frequent travelers, and we’re excited to launch these groundbreaking private offers on Instagram, so they can travel more, travel better, and spend less in a post-pandemic world. ”
“Tripscout recognized early on that a change in user behavior in travel created an opportunity to serve travelers where they now spent time online,” says Phil Schwarz of Corazon Capital and former CMO of Tinder.
“Social media is an incredibly powerful platform for travel inspiration and discovery, with 87% of millennials generating their travel inspiration from social platforms. To be the most important platform for acquiring and retaining a travel audience, Tripscout has not only quietly become the global leader in social media travel, but it has also built technology that creates significant value.
Tripscout’s last funding round of $2.3 million was in March 2021.