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June 12, 2009

The Travel Social Network is Getting Bigger! Dopplr.com Advertises to be the Travel Social Network for Smart Travelers

Filed under: Start-up Companies Reviews — admin @ 2:51 am

Yet another travel social network joins the online social network market, which is becoming a rather competitive market. Dopplr is a traveler social network that is somewhat different from the conventional social networks related to travel, such as Ruba.com and Tripwolf. What makes Dopplr.com different is that it makes your pravel tips more private and allows you to add emails of some of your close correspondents, whereas Tripwolf and Ruba.com make your travel tips public. Dopplr.com is not for everybody. For those of you who like to share their travel tips or past trips with anyone, Ruba.com and Tripwolf are more for you. Dopplr.com, however, is more for the business traveler or the personal traveler who travels frequently and wants to share your information with only a select few, whom you know. Dopplr.com also works together with other social networks, such as Linkedin, Facebook, etc. One other drawback to Dopplr.com, is for those of you who are more conservative or are opposed to the idea of a “carbon footprint,” which is hot in the news today; you might not like Dopplr.com since it has a section which calculates your carbon usage for your trips.

How does Dopplr.com work? Well, quite simple. First you need to sign in or join the network. Joining the Dopplr network is free and you need to add your email, your name, have a screen name, and you need to type in and retype a password. Once you typed this information in, you can type in a list of emails of people, with whom you want to share your travel tips. You do have the option of typing in those emails at a later time. You can even type your own greeting in with that list of emails.

Once you are signed into the Dopplr network, you will have five tabs to view. The first tab is your overview. Your overview will tell you where you are, the time in your home town, and you can also write your own journal in the overview tab. Your overview tab also has a map of popular destinations.

The second tab is the “Your Trips” tab. This tab allows you to put in all your past and present trips. You can write about the destinations where you have been to and how the airports at those destinations are, where there are good hotels, restaurants, etc.

The third tab is the Tips tab. This tab allows you to write tips about the places you have been to or frequent. These tips can also be emailed to your contacts in your email lists.

The fourth tab is the Fellow Travelers tab, which is a tab that lists the group of people in your contact list of people who also are frequent travelers. You can email fellow travelers and share information about different destinations and what is noteworthy about these destinations.

The fifth and the last tab is the Carbon Tab. This is what might turn some people off or attract others, depending on their views on the carbon footprint issue. To this tab you add your trips and then Dopplr.com will anonymously add your trip to the AMEE servers to calculate your carbon usage.

Dopplr.com also has an online store on its website where you can order various different types of travel items or services. Some of the products and services in the Dopplr Store include WiFi services throughout European airports, guide books, map stickers, and others. Some of the services that are very useful for the internet savvy traveler, especially for business travelers, is the Trustive International WiFi connection service. This service is available in 65000 hotspots worldwide. Prices at the Dopplr Store are marked in different currencies, mainly in the British Pound, the Euro, or the US Dollar, depending where the product or service is based in.

Dopplr also has a blog where you can write blogs about travel related subjects or read other blogs from other travelers on Dopplr.com.

Dopplr.com was founded in Helsinki Finland in 2007 and is a privately owned corporation. Dopplr.com also has offices in London and in Silicon Valley.

In January 4, 2009, Lisa Sounio, member of Dopplr.com’s board of directors, was featured in the Guardian’s Observer, where she discussed that Dopplr.com is the travel social network for the Facebook and Twitter generation of travelers. In the Observer, Ms. Sounio stated that Dopplr.com allows users to keep track of their fellow travelers online and can share information about trips with their fellow travelers logged onto the Dopplr network.

In Time Magazine, in the February 4, 2008 issue, Dopplr.com was featured in an article titled “Let’s Go to Lunch in London,” where the author of the article wrote that Dopplr.com “takes the luck out of meeting up” for frequent travelers. The article went on to further state that Dopplr.com allows users to plug in all their trips for months to come and share information with fellow travelers. Furthermore, Lisa Sounio, who was then Dopplr.com’s CEO was also featured in the article.

Dopplr.com’s investors include Martin Varsavsky, Reid Hoffman, the Accelerator Group, Joichi Ito, and other individuals.

The Accelerator Group or TAG is a vc firm that works with both entrepreneurs and global vc firms to build companies in the internet and telecommunications industries. Some other companies in the TAG protfolio include Kublax, My Builder, My Heritage, OpenX, Wonga, etc.

Dopplr.com received its seed round of funding in September of 2007, and series A funding in September of 2008.

Dopplr.com does have some competitors. The three major competitors of Dopplr.com are YowTRIP, Triplt, and TripSay.

YowTRIP is a traveler social network which offers a service similar to that of Dopplr.com. YowTRIP is an online gathering of world travelers and allows members of the network keep track with other travelers logged onto the site where ever they are, whether at home or on the road; also similar to the service provided by Dopplr.com. YowTRIP was founded in September of 2007 and is based in Montreal, Canada.

Triplt is a travel network that is designed for the do-it-yourself traveler and allows the user to plan their trips and create a master itinerary. Triplt was founded in October of 2006 and is based in San Francisco, California. Triplt is a privately owned company and employs 8 people along with three people on its management team.

TripSay is a travel social network which is a website that has an intelligent network which can help travelers who want to make their next trip a unique adventure. TripSay was founded in 2006 and is based in Helsinki Finland, like Dopplr.com. TripSay is a privately owned corporation.

For more information about Dopplr.com, click here.

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