The news receiving the most buzz in my email and Twitter accounts is the new $7M round of funding just announced by TripIt . The Series C round of financing was led by Azure Capital Partners. O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures also participated in the round. This brings TripIt’s funding up to $13.1 M since launch.
TripIt’s online service allows participants to track their travel plans by organizing and displaying flight plans, hotel reservations and rental car information in one place. All a user has to do is sign up and then send an email to TripIt wherever they book. TripIt also easily allows users to see when friends or colleagues are nearby and share their itineraries.
The company provided a list of accomplishments during the past year including free mobile apps, launching a premium service for frequent travelers, and creating an open API that attracted hundreds of developer partners.
Their most recent feature, TripIt Pro seems to be one area for revenue growth. For a $69 subscription, travelers can add premium features such as frequent flyer information, flight monitoring, a text message notification service, and a service to help find alternate flights when a flight is canceled. Investors love annual subscription services (I think of it as the LifeSaver candy model). But to break even,using simple math, TripIt needs to sell 188,000 travelers this service. They had 230,000 users sign up for the free service the past year said Brockway. They need to convert at a very high ratio. Still that number seems doable if they can convince travelers with complex itineraries to use it. However, those planning a trip to Grandma’s won’t need it. The other revenue stream lies with their new enterprise feature for group itineraries, currently free but a subscription model will soon be launched. Two areas of revenue and a tool distributed through 1,000s of sites. I would invest too.