TMG Startups has just announced it has signed its third company: travel startup Polarsteps. Polarsteps is the first startup that was internally sourced from the larger media group (Telegraaf Media Group) and now joins the incubation program. Easygiven and Partyclap are the earlier startups that joined the corporate’s program.
Polarsteps is a travel startup that allows users to log and share their journeys and experiences. It started as a little hack coded by Niek Bokkers in 2006, during a sailing trip. He wrote the software to be able to share updates of this journey with his family via satellite phone. In 2013, many trips, updates and prototypes later Niek, joined by co-founder and TMG employee Koen Droste, decided to take the plunge and see whether their was enough basis for an actual startup.
The team started by building the travel app they actually needed themselves: “Visual, easy and optimised for use while on the road, by for instance limiting taxing the phone’s battery“, according to Koen. Their successful tests over the past summer meant it was time for a next step: “To be able to realise our ambitions we had to find a new investor. The existing ties with TMG, but also the personal click with and package offered by TMG Startups, made us pick them as backers.” Polarsteps is looking to open up its beta version to more and more travellers over the next months, followed by a full public launch early next year.
TMG Startups manager Axel Kenninck is excited about his newest addition: “[Polarsteps], as far as I’m concerned, is the living proof of entrepreneurship without our own organisation and I hope they’ll be one of many more ideas to follow.“ The incubator, which we covered in two earlier posts (the launch of the incubator and a second one on the deal terms), provides teams funding, but also access to other more corporate services like advice, access and housing.