TripHub, a Seattle-based online travel service is incorporating community and social networking features to cash in on the ongoing online travel boom. The year-old startup has also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from its current backer, Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group. MVG is well known for its early stage investments in Amazon.com, and Classmates.com.
Unlike pure online travel e-tail services, TripHub.com is trying to diversify its business through event-planning and blogging of trips that require a lot of organizing — those kind that your mom or grandma spent a year planning. The community-based travel market is becoming a bit of an investment theme. Yesterday we wrote about Wikia and 43Places. TripHub service has been online for a few months, but the company recently added “event planning” and “trip-blogging” sections to its pages.
The day after I spoke with CEO Josh Herst on the phone about the company’s update, I attended a 120-person family reunion in the Rocky Mountains that could have sorely needed TripHub’s help. TripHub’s target audience, Mom’s and post-college planners, seemed to match the demographic of my trip’s group and I was definitely sick of receiving mass emails about the weekend’s plans. (If anyone has used TripHub to plan big trips, add your thoughts below and give us a good idea of why this service stands out!)
Still, I am inclined to stick with larger online travel sites like Yahoo Travel that are adding the vital social and community features. TripHub’s site is easy to use it will fight for attention in an increasingly crowded market that includes startups like Gusto, RealTravel, and TravelPost, as well as the giants Expedia, Yahoo Travel.