Travel tracking app Polarsteps raises €500.000 investment

Upcoming travel startup announces it will also launch on Android this summer

17 MARCH 2016, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Summary
Polarsteps, an upcoming automatic travel tracking app, announced today that it has raised €500,000 in seed funding from Silver Point Ventures and TMG. The Amsterdam based startup has a successfully growing iPhone app and plans to use the funds to further develop its product and launch an Android app.

Polarsteps, an upcoming automatic travel tracking app, announced today that it has raised €500,000 in seed funding from Silver Point Ventures and TMG. The Amsterdam based startup plans to use the funds to further develop its product. The beta version of Polarsteps’ iPhone app was launched in April 2015 and has rapidly gained traction amongst travelers.

Polarsteps (www.polarsteps.com) automatically tracks travelers’ route and places they've visited during their trip. Once connected to the internet, the app seamlessly transfers travel routes, key locations and photos to their personal Polarsteps page, where the route is plotted on a colorful world map that can be shared with close friends and family. The app uses advanced technologies to enable travelers to track their routes without internet or GPS, and to prevent battery drain.

“Just before heading off to a transatlantic sailing trip I created a small app that enabled me - through the use of a satellite phone - to log and share my route with friends and family at home”, says founder Niek Bokkers. “During the trip the concept went viral among fellow travelers, who loved the approach of telling their travel story on a stunning map and sharing it real-time with their loved ones at home. We decided to further develop it into an app for all travelers that helps them to automatically track and share their adventures in an easy and beautiful way.”

“It’s been less than a year since we launched the first beta version of our iPhone app, and we’ve already acquired a very active user base”, says founder Koen Droste. “We are receiving requests for an Android version on a daily basis and this funding will allow us to launch on Android as well as to further develop our iPhone app." Polarsteps also plans to start experimenting with monetization models around trip planning and printed photo albums. "We believe that the current online travel experience is utterly broken”, says Droste. “Did you know the average traveler visits over 40 websites before booking a trip? We want to fix this by bringing travel planning, tracking and remembering into one unified experience.”

Droste is excited about the combination between Silver Point Ventures and TMG: “Silver Point Ventures has an extensive and profound background in e-commerce, which is very valuable for our monetization plans. Because we see media partnerships as a key pillar of our growth strategy, having TMG on board as an investor allows us to experiment with this in The Netherlands”, says Droste.

Silver Point Ventures is the investment fund of internet entrepreneur Jorrit Steinz. “There is a lot of room for innovation in the online travel experience”, says Steinz. “Though Polarsteps is still in beta, its innovative product and initial user adoption demonstrates strong growth prospects. I look forward to playing a role in driving its development from the early stage phase to the next level.”

TMG (Telegraaf Media Groep N.V.) is one of the largest news media companies in the Netherlands, featuring well-known consumer brands such as De Telegraaf, Skyradio, Radio Veronica, Metro, Dumpert and Upcoming. TMG was already involved with Polarsteps through a previous investment.

As a result of the investment, Polarsteps will expand its team and move into a new office in Amsterdam.

Quotes
"Polarsteps helps travelers to automatically track and share their adventures in an easy and beautiful way." Niek Bokkers, co-founder at Polarsteps
"This funding will allow us to launch on Android as well as to further develop our iPhone app. We're excited about the combination between Silver Point Ventures and TMG. Silver Point Ventures has an extensive and profound background in e-commerce, which is very valuable for our monetization plans. Because we see media partnerships as a key pillar of our growth strategy, having TMG on board as an investor allows us to experiment with this in The Netherlands" Koen Droste, co-founder at Polarsteps
"Though Polarsteps is still in beta, its innovative product and initial user adoption demonstrates strong growth prospects. I look forward to playing a role in driving its development from the early stage phase to the next level." Jorrit Steinz, investor at Silver Point Ventures
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About polarsteps

About the company
Polarsteps is created by a bunch of enthusiastic adventurers with a passion for travel, design and coding. The Amsterdam-based startup aims to built the place to go to for travelers that want to plan, track and remember their trips.

The first prototype of Polarsteps was invented when co-founder Niek Bokkers wrote a small app on a Transatlantic sailing trip that shared trip updates with his family via a satellite phone. His trip went viral among fellow travelers, who loved the concept of an automatic travel tracker. A next prototype for the app was tested on an epic motorcycle road trip from Amsterdam to Cape Town.

Based on those experiences, the first public beta of Polarsteps was launched in 2015. Following rapid traction amongst travellers, in March 2016 the company raised a €500.000 investment. This investment was used to further develop Polarsteps into a cross-platform experience. As of August 2016, Polarsteps is available on iPhone, Android and through the website at www.polarsteps.com.

About the app
Polarsteps automatically tracks your route and places you've visited while you are travelling. Just carry your phone in your pocket or bag. Once connected to the internet, the app seamlessly transfers travel routes, key locations and photos to your personal Polarsteps page, where your route is plotted on a colorful world map that can be shared realtime with friends and family. When your trip is finished, a personal travel photo album is generated with the push of a button.

Travelers can use Polarsteps on iPhone, Android and through the website at www.polarsteps.com.

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