August 3, 2015
Solo traveling can be exhilarating, incredibly freeing, but also scary and lonely. It’s always possible that you’ll meet people along the way, but it’s not a guarantee that the lovely couple you met on the train is heading to the same destination. Or maybe you meet someone at a bar tonight with hopes that you’ll have a companion for your day trip tomorrow, but they have a different agenda.
Tripr is an app that is attempting to change the way that people do solo travel. They officially launched in June for Android after being available on iOS for a few months previous. It was founded by three Oxford grads as a way for travelers, specifically those traveling solo, to meet up with others who are heading to the same destination. There are lots of apps out there that help you plan the where and when aspects of a trip, but Tripr helps you plan who you’ll meet. It can turn a solo trip into a social adventure.
I had the opportunity to ask the founders a few questions about what sets Tripr apart, and how they’re navigating the crazy startup experience.
What differentiates Tripr from all of the other travel apps out there?
Tripr helps eliminate the three most common fears of travel: the fear of being alone, the fear of missing out, and the fear of the unknown.
“Solo travelers often find it difficult to meet and socialize with other travelers. Going to a new city on your own – where you know nobody – can be a scary prospect. Tripr has enabled solo travelers to connect and chat with other travelers as well as locals who will be in the same place at the same time as them! Tripr users can connect and chat before their trip so that, by the time they arrive, they’ll know other people they can socialize with.”
How have you handled negative press?
“We got branded Tinder for Travel early on and subsequently got an influx of users more interested in hooking up than travel. As a result a lot of our early adopters (the real travelers) stopped using Tripr. It has taken a design overhaul and a relaunch to finally get back to being an app that it is more about the travel community than hooking up.”
What’s the best part about starting up in London?
“London is a global hub of immigrants and travellers, where people from all over the world travel to not only in order to explore England, but also as a gateway point for visiting other parts of Europe. Since our aim is to become a globalized social app for travellers, London is a perfect city for expanding our user base and for testing our app with travellers from all over the world.”
The app currently has 20,000 users in over 70 countries. It has been especially popular with female travelers, who currently make up over 60% of the app’s users.
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