5 New Travel Startups That Want to Get Tourists Off the Beaten Track
This week’s startup roundup looks at travel planning and inspiration websites, some of which are now publicly raising money on AngelList. We’ve also thrown in a new taxi app that is competing with a crowded market to get city dwellers into cars faster.
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»Travark is a travel planning and booking website. The website takes travelers from pre-trip research to the post-trip sharing with a focus on social integration. Users also have a profile where they can organize and keep all booking and payment details. The startups plans to launch an open beta by the end of 2013.
SkiftTake: Clean design, useful social integration, and an active community are a few of the points that Travark has to hit before it becomes a formidable player in the travel booking and sharing space.
»LocalView is a local city guide that is currently only available in Kentucky. The app provides users with deals, restaurant recommendations, and upcoming events. It aggregates information on restaurants from Yelp and OpenTable and aggregates deals from Groupon, Living Social, and other flash sales sites. The app is available on iOS and Android smartphones.
SkiftTake: LocalView has carved a space for itself in two Kentucky towns while looking to solve some of the pain points associated with sites like Groupon. It will take LocalView time to build the “Kayak for local data” through slow and meaningful expansion.
»CityShare is a travel planning app that crowdsources attractions and activities from users’ friends. Users search a destination, look through recommended activities from friends, and add their favorites to their own travel itinerary.
SkiftTake: Travelers will continue to seek travel advice from friends via their personal social networks and a single app is unlikely to shift that behavior. Instead, CityShare will have to offer users something they can’t find through their personal connections.
»Maperia is an inspirational travel guide. Users open the app in new destinations to find attractions off the beaten track. Maperia is publicly raising funding on AngelList. The app will be available on Apple, Android, and Windows smartphones.
SkiftTake: The startup doesn’t share much information before its launch but any inspiration site will be challenged to come up with a competitive business model.
»TapACab is an online taxi booking system that allows users to select and reserve a car in their area. After a booking is completed, users can track the car until arrival.
SkiftTake: Mobile taxi booking services are on their way to becoming commonplace in cities around the world. Even if TapACab can’t survive on its own, part of its tracking technology could make it an attractive acquisition.