Social travel planning service Kukunu launches, raises funding

Kukunu is a social travel planning service that puts you, your fellow travelers and your friends in the driver’s seat when it comes to planning your vacation(s). The company, which was one of the winners of Seedcamp Week 2009, has been operating quietly so far, having launched a private beta version at Le Web 2009.

Kukunu is now available in public beta, and the fledgling company has also announced that they’ve raised $400,000 from Seedcamp, Jaina Capital (the fund of Meetic founder and angel investor Marc Simoncini) and Kima Ventures (Xavier Niel).

Basically, Kukunu helps people build their itinerary across cities before planning other aspects of trips, such as booking hotels, making restaurant reservations and checking out which landmarks are worth visiting along the way.

Kukunu is dubbed a collaborative experience, as it allows for co-travelers to work together for trip-planning purposes, and also enables people to tap the wisdom of their friends via Twitter and Facebook to get more recommendations on what to do and visit.

The startup has teamed up with companies like, Expedia, Opentable and Viator to enable users to directly access more than 100,000 hotels and 200,000 activities, restaurants and sights. One competitor that immediately springs to mind is YourTour (and I’m sure there are lots of others).

Kukunu was founded by CEO Itamar Lesuisse, a former consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and product manager at Amazon and Visa, and CTO Gerald Goldstein.