Gtrot, a service that leverages Facebook to help people make traveling decisions, is announcing a new round of funding from Lightbank. The company is declining to reveal the exact size of the round but says it is under $1 million.
Founded by Brittany Laughlin and Zachary Smith, Gtrot helps users source travel plans, deals, tips, and recommendations from other friends via their social graph. For example, if you are visiting Paris and need travel advice, you can use Gtrot’s Facebook app or site to see which of your friends have been or live there, so you can reach out to them to get personalized advice and recommendations.
Similar to TripIt, you can email your travel confirmations to Gtrot and the site will automatically manage your itineraries, and source information on the city you are visiting from Facebook friends. Gtrot will find friends with intersecting plans, those who live in the destination or those who have been to the destination before. And you can set up alerts for when friends plan a trip to a city you are visiting or are based in. You can also post photos and reviews of past trips to share with Facebook friends.
Laughlin and Smith say that online forums like TripAdvisor have become the defacto source for recommendations but these site aren’t able to give you recommendations from people you trust. And these sites are unable to connect you with your friends who have either visited or have lived in a vacation destination.
Since entering beta in 2010, gtrot has attracted nearly 6,000 users who have shared information for over 40,000 cities around the world, and plans to use the funding for further product development and expansion.