This week’s roundup of travel startups looks at two platforms for sharing travel experiences and one website for booking tours with locals in Asia.
There is also a bag tag that doubles as a tracking device and a platform for swapping homes with other travelers for free.
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>> Vycarious is an app created to share experiences. Users can create travel stories using a combination of text, photos, and videos. They can also use the platform to follow their friends’ travels as they happen or discover new experiences.
SkiftTake: Vycarious is another story-telling tool that combines pieces of several social networks so that a trip can be captured on one platform. Its struggle will be attracting users who are already comfortable on existing social networks.
>> Tag-a-Bag is a luggage tag that doubles as a tracking device. Finders swipe the QR code on the tag to receive a customized message from the bag’s owner. The finder then clicks another button to send the owner a text and email with the exact address of the bag and any additional information.
SkiftTake: Airlines are slowly introducing technology that makes it easier to check and retrieve bags, but tools like bag-a-tag allows travelers to ensure that they’ll be able to find their bags…as long as the finder is cooperative enough to download a QR code reader. Like that’s going to happen.
>> Tripoto is a platform where users can share or search for complete travel itineraries with text, photos, maps, and reviews. Users can connect and ask one another questions about itineraries they’d like to follow. Users can also become guides for travelers who want to follow a specific plan within their city.
SkiftTake: The concept of building a brand based around one’s travels in interesting given today’s self-promotional social media tools. However, Tripoto will need to incentivize travelers to take the time to share their trips in detail and help others follow them.
>> BeMyGuest sells more than 10,000 niche tours and activities in Asia and beyond. Tour operators can list their activities for free and the activities will be promoted on a number of sites via BeMyGuest. The Singapore-based startup recently raised $402,000 from angel investors.
SkiftTake: BeMyGuest has a team of experienced travel professionals behind it and has quickly grown its inventory over the past year. It has the opportunity to emerge from a crowded market as leader for local travel experiences in Asia.
>> Cosmopolit Home is a mix between Airbnb and Couchsurfing. Users host one another to gain nights that they can later exchange to stay in someone else’s house. There is no money involved, users simply earn nights and spend them for free. Users can be home or away when they’re guests stay.
SkiftTake: “Nightswapping” offers a third option to travelers who want to meet locals and stay in a local home for less money than Airbnb and better accommodations than Couchsurfing. It’s biggest hurdle will be creating an evangelist community similar to the one that Couchsurfing enjoyed in its early days and Airbnb has right now.