Mobile app startups: Secret City Trails, HerePin and LxMe


This is a regular roundup of some of the latest mobile application startup launches in travel covering everything from trip inspiration and planning to virtual assistants.

 

Secret City Trails

What is it?

Secret City Trails bring an element of gamification to exploring a city. They enable the user to follow a trail of clues and discover hidden gems including lesser-known sights, shops and cafes.

Users select and buy the trail they want to play online, after which they receive a text message with a unique link to open in their smartphone browser. They then make their way to the start location and hit the start button in the app to receive the first clue.

Who’s behind it?

It was started by Kristina Palovicova and Wendy van Leeuwen.

The pair have more than five years experience in hospitality, tourism, sports and consumer products.

Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

Secret City Trails says:

“When we were looking for an original way to discover new places in our current hometown of Amsterdam, we found there wasn’t something that would take us to several new discoveries in one morning/afternoon.

“There were individual events at cool places or there were alternative tours at certain times, but these were guided and we were looking for something at our own pace, a way of exploring that would give us time to enjoy our new discovering along the way.

“We decided to create a trail that takes you along our favourite spots, but rather then simply offering a map, we felt we had to create a playful aspect connecting one spot to the next; that’s were the cryptic clues came in. The result? Our playful trails across the cities of Amsterdam, Bratislava, Barcelona and Lisbon. More to come!”

Any funding/participation in accelerators or other validation?

Secret City Trails is entirely self-funded. As we are expanding across Europe at the moment, we are considering applying to accelerators focused on supporting startups to scale.

 

HerePin

What is it?

The app launched about a year ago to help travellers connect in destination. It enables users to join the community, find out who is around, potentially meet up and begin making connections for their next destination.

Who’s behind it?

The core team is comprised on three friends and colleagues from a previous startup.

Mark Bardi – co-founder/head of marketing

Greg Elisara – co-founder/head of product

Michelle Copeland – head of operations

The three initially worked at a fintech company in the Australasia region.

Is there a problem it’s trying to solve?

Bardi says:

“The problem we’re trying to solve for solo travelers is 1) loneliness and 2) access to local, real-time information.

The problem we’re trying to solve for tourism businesses is hyper targeted advertising (i.e. travelers who are in a particular location and looking for activities, deals, events, etc).”

Anything else? Funding? Participation in accelerators?

We’ve raised $200k from angel investors in the US. Right now, we’re in the process of fundraising for an additional $1m-$2m seed round. Our goal with the funds is to build up our team and expand aggressively into Asia-Pacific (APAC).

 

LxMe

What does it do?

LxMe is a learning application for travel agents already in the luxury travel space or looking to get into the luxury travel space. I

The app provides detailed information on top boutique hotels and resorts around the world with images to make it easier for agents to sell and up sell exotic properties to discerning clients.

The app aims to empower travel agents to sell in the luxury segment, save them time and help them build expertise.

Who is behind it? 

Crindo, the holding company, was founded in January 2016. Its founders are:

Amit Chawla has background knowledge of the luxury travel market.

Gaurav Sharma has experience in hospitality and travel sales.

Vishal Agarwal is the technologist on the team.

Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?

Agarwal says:

“With the collapse of Europe and Russia markets, every luxury hotel is eyeing Asia (with focus on India) and the Middle East, to source the right business for their hotels.

“Being represented in these regions through a local partner is one of the key strategies that most hotels adopt.

“Currently, every hotel representation company offers offline services and & are still relying on traditional approach to market their clients.

“LxMe is the only possibility to target right travel agents using data analytics.”

Does it have funding?

We are currently bootstrapped and looking for investment partners.



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