In 2011, software engineers and longtime friends Anoop Goyal and Prakash Sikchi were backpacking together in Washington state’s Cascade Mountains. Sitting on a rock overlooking Inspiration Lake, they had an idea for how to make trip planning easier—build software that could collect data from the Web and turn out customizable sightseeing itineraries. Soon after, they wrote their first lines of code and [highlight]Inspirock[/highlight] was born.
First came the prototype of Inspirock
When Goyal and Sikchi started prototyping the software for France, they quickly discovered that creating an intuitive and sensible interface would be their biggest initial hurdle. They scrapped three designs before hitting on the right one.
That core interface they settled on then remains to this day. Travelers input their travel destination(s), dates, and a few preferences. The software returns a full plan of what to see and do. Travelers then customize the program by adjusting city stays and attractions until it’s just right.
In 2012, Inspirock “silently” went live with a France, trip planner. User stats looked good, so it was time to expand the geography and start looking for a seed investor.
Then came the investment
As it was adding the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the United States, it was also searching for the right investor. It finally found one after many pitches and discussions, [highlight]securing $3 million in seed funding from MakeMyTrip[/highlight], the largest travel e-commerce company in India.
Now with plenty of seeds to sow, the startup started scaling its software to include the rest of the world.
Now comes the rest of the adventure
Fifteen months later, Inspirock has covered Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia/Oceania. Once it adds Africa, its innovative trip planner will be available for every country in the world.
Travelers can book hotels and special activities through the site, with more components soon to come. The goal is to build a website where travelers can plan their entire trip wherever they want to travel. There are still various features to add to optimize the planning experience.
Nevertheless, travelers are still generally happy with the site. It helps that Inspirock’s revenue-sharing monetization strategy lets it continue to offer its powerful software free of charge.
There’s still a long way to go, and creating a site of this scope requires a lot of resources. With a team spread out across the United States, Europe, India, and Australia, Inspirock remains confident that it will build the Internet’s best trip planner.
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