Trippy Launches New Visual Browsing Experience; Adds Kevin Rose, Celebs As Advisors

For those unfamiliar, Trippy is a social travel web and mobile app that operates on the assumption that travel recommendations are best served on a silver, friendsourced platter. That is to say, Trippy’s platform, which ties your favorite social networks into its platform to allow friends to comment on your itinerary, feedback, and so on, advances the notion that travel recommendations and destination discovery is most effective when emanating from people who you implicitly trust.

Trippy debuted in private beta at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC in September, launched open beta in October, and raised $1.75 million in November from VCs like Sequoia Capital, SV Angel, True Ventures, and angel investors including Rob Solomon, Tim Ferriss, Brian Lee, Gil Ebaz, Randi Zuckerberg, Jasom Mraz, and Rachel Zoe.

Building on its first round of funding from celebrity and well-known angel investors, Trippy is today officially announcing its advisory board members, which include some familiar names (investors), with a few more travel and tech experts to boot. The slate of advisors includes investors Jason Mraz, Rachel Zoe, Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg, as well as names like Anthony Bourdain, Kevin Rose, Andrew Zimmern, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chase Jarvis, Soleil Moon Frye, Soraya Darabi, Johnny Jet, Veronica Belmont, Kim Mance, Brett Snyder and more.

Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose, for example will be advising the company in day to day operations, but the real goal of bringing this cast of characters and influencers on board is that they are all globetrotters, so, in their role as advisors, they will use Trippy to share their travel experiences to inspire and offer recommendations to other travelers.

Trippy is also announcing the initial roll out of what it’s calling “Project Delightful,” the next big iteration of the app, which offers a new visual-browsing experience that aims to bring serendipitous discovery of travel ideas through photos. This new phase will clearly bring the startup into even more direct competition with fellow social, photo-focused travel site, Gogobot.

The new project is live today with its first phase, and will continue to develop over the next few weeks, but as it stands, Trippy users can now view pages of travel photos, click on the places they want to go and have been to, and add travel ideas to visual “inspiration boards.”

Custom boards can be created for any category, says Trippy Founder and CEO J.R. Johnson (who previously launched VirtualTourist, which was acquired by Expedia in 2008), from “Weekend Getaways” to “Top Places To Eat In San Francisco,” “Where To Travel To Get Cultured,” and so on. Each travel photo is geo-tagged to help users remember the locations of the places they’ve visited, and the collection of photos is plotted on an interactive map for easy viewing.

Then, when users are ready to move from planning into action, Trippy taps into their social networks to show them which of their friends have already visited the locations they’ve chosen. Johnson says that the idea is to take travelers “from dreaming to doing” and create a personally-relevant, full-circle planning experience.

For more, check out Trippy at home here.