Amsterdam-based startup TRVL has raised 2.7 million USD in a pre-Series A round from a group of angel investors. The investors that wish to remain undisclosed have previously invested in another company of TRVL founder and CEO Jochem Wijnands. That company, Prss, a digital magazine platform, was acquired in 2014 by Apple and would later become Apple News.
The new capital injection will be used for further product development and growth.
Founded in 2010 TRVL started out as an aggregator of travel content. In 2016 the company announced its pivot to the now investor-backed peer-to-peer travel platform.
TVRL taps into the power of the personal recommendation and the wisdom of the crowd used by companies like Uber, AIRBNB and their ilk to power their growth. Wijnands believes his company’s human-powered platform facilitates better recommendations than any AI-powered system. Users can earn a commission of 10 % by giving their unique and context-specific recommendation as a TRVL (amateur) travel agent. Or fund a trip by earning up to 10% on every booking that they realise.
Hotel inventory is delivered via affiliate deals with Booking.com and Expedia Inc-owned hotels.com.
“Think of TRVL as TripAdvisor with an earning model,” Wijnands says in an interview to Techcrunh. “We believe TRVL will change the way millions of people will book their trips online.”
Wijnands and his COO are travel industry veterans. Prior to founding TRVL and Prss Wijnands worked as a travel photographer for National Geographic and other global publications for 15 years. The company’s COO, Arthur Hoffman, was previously the driving force behind the expansion of Expedia in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and India.
Photo Credit: Ishan-seefromthesky