Brittany Laughlin, co-founder of Gtrot, a travel platform that uses Facebook’s social graph to help plan and share their trips, recently talked about her passion at at the IdeaMensch Los Angeles.
Her pitch: Gtrot, short for globe-trotting, combines the ease and expectations of digital natives; post a message to each friend’s Facebook wall and access a stream of advice and daily deals from the likes of Groupon, based on destination, with curated email deal offers five days before departure right up until the trip is over.[more]
The new startup, backed by Lightbank, gained attention by winning the Harvard Innovation Challenge, founded by Zachary Smith in his senior year. Following Facebook’s college-only invite model and in private beta since 2009, “It went viral at Harvard … and spread through the Ivy League,” said Smith.
6,000 users later, the investment fund created by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell stepped in to fulfill Gtrot’s promise to socialize travel.
• Share travel plans on Facebook and Twitter
• Manage itineraries
• Get advice from trusted friends
• Connect with Facebook friends who live where you are traveling
• Get alerts when friends plan a trip to your city
• Post and share photos and reviews of past trips
• Daily Deals aggregated by Local Offer Network’s DealWire platform.
“Online travel planning is still really messy, it’s very difficult to find recommendations tailored to your interests. Whether you’re visiting a friend in a familiar city or flying halfway around the world, we want to connect you with personalized information and deals that will make your trip awesome,” said Laughlin.
To be sure, Gtrot is entering a crowded and competitive space including Dopplr, Tripit, TripAdvisor and Airbnb.
Their means of distinction – simplicity, and, “We’re innovative in how we use Facebook data,” says Smith, adding, “The best way to get ready for your trip is to share it with your friends.”