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mygola, the “Robocop for travel” gets $1M to bring a personal travel planner to everyone

By on Dec 19, 2011 in General | 1 comment

Anshuman Bapna Share On GoogleShare On FacebookShare On Twitter

We noticed something funny in travel a few years ago. If you were “going to amsterdam”, there were a zillion sites that would totally rock your boat. But as it turns out, none of us is just “going to amsterdam”. You’re probably going there for the second time, or traveling with your kids, or have a conference to attend, or like vegan food or hate Vermeer.

That, is what our *typical* trip looks like. But try telling that to your favorite travel website!

Another thing that gets our goat. Somehow everyone in the travel industry tends to believe that the hard part is getting recommendations on what to see & where to stay – hence all the activity in the social / local space. But if you’re anything like me, the stressful part is actually all the stuff in between – how do I get from the airport to the hotel? Will my phone work? Can I rent a stroller in Amsterdam? Close your eyes for a moment and try to remember the last trip you were planning? Did it resemble Google -> Tripadvisor -> Forums -> Google…all while you’re noting down stuff in a spreadsheet? What does that experience remind you of?

I knew you would say filing your taxes! :)

Unfortunately, the travel web has been denying this reality all along, despite all the love from their users. So two years ago, we set out to make travel planning radically simple.

Source: http://www.getthebigpicture.net/

Our approach is simple – you ask any question about your trip, and one of us will do all the research & bookings for your trip! We then turbocharge this by:

1. Having tens of thousands of travel enthusiasts sign up and train to become travel researchers.

2. Building an amazing technology platform that aggregates the entire travel web and auto-categorizes it – deals, events, hotels, sublets, even tips from locals on foursquare and your friends who’ve recently been there.

We call this the 90% tech + 10% human insight approach. Which made one of our users call it

“the Robocop for travel!”

This hyper-personalization has earned us lots of love from our early users!

And now as we begin our next chapter, we’re happy to share that we’ve received investments from some notable investors who immediately shared our passion for bringing the human back in a massive category! Our investors now include Blumberg Capital, Dave McClure / 500 Startups, Lewis Cheng, Mac Harman, Sandeep Bapna, Priyavrat Bhartia, Aldo Monteforte and Alvaro Gutierrez.

Thanks for your support. You can follow along on Twitter and Facebook.

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Anshuman Bapna
Anshuman is the CEO & co-founder of mygola.com, a travel planning service. He co-founded and sold his first startup (RightHalf.com) while in undergrad at IIT Bombay, seeing it through the first boom & bust on the internet. After his MBA at Stanford, he spent some time selling solar lights in Vietnam and working with an Indian Member of Parliament before returning to New York to work with Deloitte, then Google. He moved to Bangalore a few years back to get back to being an entrepreneur. Anshuman is passionate about traveling, claiming to his credit both being chased (by a machete-wielding thug in Chile) and giving the chase (to a lioness in Gir forest) during his travels.
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