CreateTrips Pulls In $600K For Its Mobile Trip Planner Platform

Social trip planner startup CreateTrips has closed a $600,000 seed round of funding, with investment coming from Butterfly Ventures, Frontier and Rkapital.

Also today it’s opened its app up to global users, having only been available in 18 countries for the past few months. It launched in New Zealand initially in December, adding a swathe of additional markets in April and May.

CreateTrips says its active user base only numbers in the “tens of thousands” at this point — so it’s clearly hoping to scale with the new funding behind it. Prior to this seed round it was being boostrapped by the founder.

The investment will go towards user acquisition, founder Juha-Petteri Kukkonen tells TechCrunch, as well as spending on R&D and on getting more partners on board its platform.

The travel guide content in CreateTrips’ app aims to be mostly user-generated. It’s basically building a platform where travel bloggers and travel companies can create and sell offline mobile guides — which include an offline maps feature — for locations where they have salable expertise.

It calls these guides TravelBooks, and is hoping to attract influential travel bloggers who have big followers of their own to its platform to create and sell guides within the app.

Prices for TravelBooks start at €3.59, although creators can choose to give them away for free (sans the offline map feature).

The app can also be used by travelers to build their own itinerary for an upcoming trip and ensure info they want to access when aboard is accessible offline on their phone — to avoid any data roaming costs.

“The difference between our mobile guides and other similar services is the way they are personalized by our authors,” says Kukkonen, discussing how CreateTrips varies from other social travel planner services.

“Today’s travelers want to see the world the same way their favorite bloggers do. When creating your own itineraries, you will be able to access great tips and pics from travelers and locals, from all your favorite social media services.

“TravelBooks allow travel bloggers to monetize their content to a large mass of travelers and of course their followers,” he adds. “Bloggers will have their own branded author profiles with links to their blogs and other social media platforms. We will provide bloggers with widgets that they can use to promote their own mobile guides.”

That’s the idea, but of course CreateTrips is going to need a substantial user base if it’s going to stand a chance of encouraging expert travelers to spend time building content for its app.

It’s also worth noting that the travel guide space is a pretty crowded one — and one that’s seen a fair few pivots over the years, suggesting it’s a tough place to try to monetize on its own.

Other recent startups hoping to make a go of helping travelers find cool stuff to do under an unfamiliar sky include the likes of Minube, What Now?!GetYourGuide and AnyRoad, to name a handful of those on this road.