TripIt, the handy travel tool, has raised $7 million in a third round of funding led by Azure Capital Partners and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. “We were on a track to get profitable with that [previous] round but we’re just increasingly feeling like we’re scratching the service of the opportunity here,” CEO Gregg Brockway told us today. (TripIt has now raised $13.1 million, including its last round circa April 2008.)
TripIt aims to help users organize and access their travel information, and derives its revenue from a paid product ($69/year for alerts and alternate flights), advertising and licensing deals with travel agents. The basic service formats all your reservations to be readable from mobile apps (including offline) through the simple mechanism of forwarding emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. This week the San Francisco-based company ventured into the enterprise market, with a new product that enables users to contribute their itineraries to a company group. That’s currently offered for free, but Brockway said more premium options are on the way.
Brockway prefers to talk about TripIt’s growth by number of trips planned per month by its users: up to 230,000 in January of this year vs. 70,000 in January 2009. He said he aims to use the funding to make hires in mobile, business development, sales and marketing to add to TripIt’s 27-person, engineering-focused team.
While the idea of forwarding travel reservations to an email account is so simple it seems hard to justify $13 million in funding, the charm and promise is in TripIt’s integrations with accounts, services and devices, both internally developed and through its API. For instance, I’d love to see all the upcoming trips of my colleagues automatically plotted on our internal Google Apps calendar.
“Really the magic starts to happen when you aggregate information,” Brockway said. “When we take all the information we know about you and all the information we know about what’s going on in the world and give you actionable travel intelligence back.” TripIt competitors include WorldMate and Kayak.
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