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Trover, the travel app aimed at sharing off-the-beaten-path discoveries, has formally launched out of limited beta. The app, which was initially available only on iPhone (s AAPL) for users connecting through their Facebook accounts, is now also open as a web app on Trover.com and accessible to anyone with a Facebook, Twitter, or email account.
The new developments are great to see from the Seattle-based company which, as we first reported last month, initiated as a project within a startup called Travelpost. Trover rolled out as a standalone app on May 4. The company has been funded with a portion of the $9.8 million that was initially invested in Travelpost, and all the development thus far has been attributable to Trover’s six-person team led by CEO Jason Karas. The company plans to debut an Android (s GOOG) app this fall.
Despite its relatively humble beginnings as a feature within another startup, Trover has very quickly found a distinctive voice and a dedicated audience of its own. Trover has accumulated 70,000 users across 150 countries during its limited release alone, and has garnered Expedia (s EXPE) founder Rich Barton as its chairman. “I’ve done lots of traveling around the world looking for hidden gems, and I’ve always dreamed of having a resource that was at my fingertips with all my friends’ resources and travel recommendations,” Barton told me in a joint interview along with Karas this week. “For me, and for many others, using Trover has very quickly become a state of mind.”
Essentially, Trover allows users to take photos of things they’ve seen and places they’ve been and share them with friends and neighbors. Entries are automatically geo-tagged to the location in which its photo was snapped. Trover aims to catalog the “discoveries” people make when exploring a certain place — Barton described a prototypical Trover entry as saying “park right there, and here’s a photo of the little hidden pathway to the great surf beach.”
Trover’s investors include General Catalyst Partners, Ignition Partners and Benchmark Capital.
Here are some screenshots of Trover in action (click to enlarge):