TrovaTrip, a travel planning and booking platform that lets creators host adventures with their communities, has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Madrona. Founded in 2017, the Portland-based company makes it easy for creators to sell and host multi-day experiences around the world. TrovaTrip offers more than 150 experiences in 48 countries. To date, more than 15,000 travelers have used TrovaTrip to book an experience.
The platform includes bookable experiences like hiking in Patagonia, sourcing textiles in Morocco, practicing yoga in Bali and more. Hosts, which is the name for creators on the platform, set their price for a specific experience that they will be leading. TrovaTrip then provides a landing page for hosts to publish and promote their trip and then start accepting bookings. Hosts can also set up an email marketing campaign, in addition to promoting their bookable experience across their social media channels.
TrovaTrip handles payment processing, customer support and traveler management, and covers the host with free insurance during the trip. The company charges a 10% service fee and a $2.9% transaction fee.
All trips are organized and run by a certified tour operator and include a local guide to ensure a safe experience. Trips include accommodations, transportation between cities, listed meals and guided activities relevant to the theme of the trip. Examples of trip categories and themes include photography, exploration, health and wellness, food, LGBTQ+, yoga and more.
The platform was founded by TrovaTrip CEO Nick Poggi, CRO Lauren Schneider and CTO Brandon Denham. The idea for TrovaTrip began when Poggi, Schneider and a few of their friends were planning a two-week vacation trip to Europe, but were unable to find group travel options for young professionals, Poggi told TechCrunch in an interview. While they were on the trip, they started mapping out a plan to build the solution that they wish existed. Poggi then brought Denham on board, after which the trio had the idea to create a platform that lets you not only travel, but travel while learning about something you’re passionate about with someone you look up to.
“Rather than us selling these experiences directly to customers, we thought let’s build a platform that makes it easy for creators to offer and host experiences with their communities,” Poggi said. “This would create an authentic and reputable source of income for creators, while also supporting them as they look to build out their community. The concept worked and led to a pretty incredible experience. Our first trip was to Italy and then the next two were to Portugal.”
The company’s Series A funding round included participation from existing investors PSL Ventures, Oregon Venture Fund, Elevate Capital and Portland Seed Fund. TrovaTrip will use the new funding to further advance its platform and open access to more creators, Poggi says.
“We are very much focused on continuing to enhance our platform to provide a world-class experience for our hosts, travelers and operators,” Poggi said. “We will be growing our sales and marketing efforts to open up the platform for more creators and their communities. We’ve only scratched the surface with the various categories and themes that we could potentially work with. We’re very excited to open up the platform a bit more on the host side. And then we will continue to work to expand our selection of itineraries across destinations.”
TrovaTrip’s Series A funding round follows the company’s $5 million seed funding announced in August 2021, which was led by PSL Ventures. The company has raised $20 million in funding to date.
In terms of the future, TrovaTrip plans to continue to develop its platform to be a reputable income stream for creators. The company notes that it’s already becoming some creators’ primary source of income. TrovaTrip also plans to continue to make travel safer and maintain a high bar for quality group travel.
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