Go Go Gogobot

I’m very happy to announce today that CrunchFund has invested in Gogobot, the innovative travel recommendation startup that launched in 2010.

The new round – $15 million from Redpoint Ventures, CrunchFund and previous investor Battery Ventures – will let Gogobot hire more people (they’ve done an incredible amount with just 6 engineers and designers to date). Gogobot also gets access to Redpoint’s Satish Dharmaraj, who’s joining the Gogobot board of directors. See TechCrunch for more details.

Researching travel online remains a mess, and Gogobot wants to fix that. There is a lot of data on Tripadvisor, and that’s the de facto place people go to write and read travel reviews today. But TripAdvisor is extremely old school, there’s no social component, and their extreme focus on monetization and SEO leads to a terrible user experience.

Gogobot lets you see recommendations based on your social graph, from people you know, or people who know people who you know. Like many other industries being disrupted, travel recommendations is one of those things that is just a perfect fit with social.

Gogobot is also just a lot more fun to browse than TripAdvisor or other sites. Everything’s packaged nicely and photos are always front and center. And I love how the site automatically picks up Foursquare checkins (with my permission) and then asks me later to leave a review about the places I’ve been. They also have an excellent mobile application, just released for iPhone.

The site is growing rapidly – more than 10x user growth in the last six months – but it has a long way to go. I’m excited to be part of this journey with them.

29 thoughts on “Go Go Gogobot

  1. Ben Lang says:

    Congrats Ori Zaltzman!

  2. Congrats to the Gogobot team, you really can do a lot with a small team these days!

  3. Hmm, it can get a little messy/very very slow when viewing a big time passport user such as http://www.gogobot.com/user/eric_brink/passport/san_francisco_east_bay-california

  4. Leo says:

    I’ll apply an affiliate program… Thanks for Michael with his updated FB stat..

  5. Bob Johns says:

    Imagine that: a technology company, TripAdvisor, focusing on monetization. How dare TripAdvisor make real money and not spend somebody else’s dollars, pretending they have revenue and paying customers. Gasp!

  6. Orli Yakuel says:

    Truly I think you should come and see some other great stuff coming out of here 🙂

    Congrats Gogobot!

  7. Jay Zalowitz says:

    Sorry, I gotta disagree here, unless they are planning a serious iteration here, this just dosen’t hit my pain points.

  8. Does the site let us see which places our friends have been to and if they recommend them or not? also uploading photos the venues?

  9. Allen Hurff says:

    Congrats Travis, Sharon, and friends at GoGoBot! It’s been awesome to watch you grow! Now, I just need to get back to a place where I travel a lot! 🙂

  10. Hadi Partovi says:

    I agree that TripAdvisor feels very Web 1.0 in many ways, site feels old, and over-monetized. But saying “there’s no social component”, that doesn’t seem true to me – thanks to Facebook’s instant-personalization, when I use TripAdvisor I have many times seen reviews by a Facebook friend highlighted if they also stayed at the same hotel, or their favorite hotel highlighted in a list.

  11. Hongbo Zhang says:

    Mike, you really like traveling either luxury or common traveling….

  12. Robert Thomas says:

    The founder of go go bout is white. WEIRD!!

  13. Hoi Sta says:

    It looks promising, but finding it a bit difficult to add cities. It’d be easier for me to add cities using a map, rather than seeing lists of cities generated by suggestions.

    Likewise, when i press destinations and click Asia (wanting to explore Cambodia), it’s not in the list, I have to do a manual search for it, and then it only pops up anything that has ‘Cambodia’ in it, making it difficult for me to search around the areas of Cambodia I’m interested in (e.g. like in a map)

    What would also be good is if there was some integration with openflights.org , I use that to track my flights.

  14. Marck says:

    I’m getting tired of TripAdvisor as well. Good to know there is an alternative with great potential such as Gogobot.

  15. Andy Z says:

    “There are very few minorities here. When they are here, they get hired much more easily than their white or asian counterparts.”

    Holy crap Arrington. You really don’t get it.

    It’s very tough to get a job when people look at you and think you’re “the help”.

    You still don’t understand.

    I would recommend living in Japan for three years. This’ll teach you what life is like as a minority.

    You still don’t understand the barriers that stereotypes create.

    You still don’t understand the barriers that racism creates.

    You still don’t understand the effects of a life filled with people discriminating against you.

  16. FF says:

    They have a TERRIBLE name.

  17. FF says:

    TripAdvisor looks 1.0, but it works. Most people you speak with book their hotel based on TripAdvisor’s ratings, I know I have. And what’s all this matter about users? I’d be more interested in financials. But from VC I guess it wouldn’t matter, just get the right mix of people involved for a later flip, profitable or not.

  18. NG says:

    “But TripAdvisor is extremely old school, there’s no social component, and their extreme focus on monetization and SEO leads to a terrible user experience.”

    This type of flawed thinking is a complete result of the Silicon Valley echo chamber. Company management is vilified if they dare try to make money. However, if you borrow money and subject your company to constant pivots, you are hailed as some sort of conquering hero in blogger land. An entrepreneur attending the Loic LeMeur school of business might exhibit the latter traits.

  19. As an avid user of tripadvisor, I agree it would be nicer to find information more efficiently. But, there is no need for a social component…if I care what my friends think, I’ll ask them. In the meantime, I’m much more interested in fair, objective analysis and reviews than what my “circle” cares about.

  20. I love Gogobot! The site is easy to navigate, and so is finding recommendations.

  21. Mother Fucker Arrington says:

    be a man motherfucker, open comments on your racism posts and face it

  22. T-Sinema says:

    Thanks for Michael with his updated

  23. Adam Jackson says:

    TripAdvisor is broken because you have no context around who is writing the review. How is a review from someone you have no geo/socio/economic things in common with valuable? Layering on the social graph (or at least some non-identifying context) is the obvious next step. I’m a big fan of Gogobot – hopefully they get it done.

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