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.