When Esplorio first launched its app just over two years ago, the London-based startup offered a means of digitizing the proverbial travel journal.
No longer do travelers have to compile their favorite trip photos to print and adhere to the pages of a scrapbook. Instead, the app’s GPS tracking mechanism keeps tabs on travelers and the photos they take with their phone’s camera while they’re on the road.
Travelers have proven receptive to the concept as Esplorio has since had 21 million photos uploaded to the app and 350 million data points recorded from nearly every country around the globe, including North Korea. CEO Tim Fernando says:
“Launching an app in the consumer travel space is challenging because there’s a huge amount of competition and the vast amount of travel products out there are fundamentally very utilitarian; they’re transactional or search focused. So we designed and built an app that appeals to travelers throughout the year and not just when they’re traveling.”
Functional even without a wifi connection, the app uses a minimal amount of battery and its end product can be shared with viewers of the user’s choosing, via email and/or their preferred social media channels or kept entirely private. But in March 2017, Esplorio expanded the app’s share options, launching a new opt-in feature, ‘Explore,’ to include the general public. But Esplorio remains private by default.
“Explore is great for travel bloggers and people who are happy to share their travels with the world, so when you discover a travel influencer on Esplorio, it’s an easy way to see where they’ve been. The Explore feature was a result of a lot of users asking for it because they want to create a community and it adds another level of great content and inspiration for users who otherwise have to trawl through lots of desperate blogs, corporate writings and old school travel guides to identify destinations and figure out how to get there.”
He added that because Esplorio is a data-driven company, it’s well positioned to present the content in a way that no other platform can. As the platform has gained more users and thus, more data points, it’s provided Esplorio with greater insights on how and why people travel as well as what they’re doing while they’re on the road, and that information, Fernando says, has applications in other areas of the travel industry.
The research is slated for use in additional new products that Esplorio will build, targeting different segments of the travel purchase cycle.
To date, the company has raised £320,000, but Fernando along with chief technology officer Sean Pham and chief marketing officer Essa Saulat are seeking additional funding in order to further capitalize on their growth rates and also to work with third parties such as content producers, bloggers and influencers in addition to progressing to partnerships.
He says this will “add a whole new dimension to the product and to how we’re completing our mission to be the world’s favorite travel product.”