Polarsteps hits 1 million users and raises €3 million in funding
Amsterdam-based travel startup Polarsteps today announced that it has broken through the 1 million user mark and raised €3 million (USD $3.5 million) in funding. The Series A round, which was led by INKEF Capital, brings Polarsteps’ total funding to date to €4.6 million (USD 5.25 million). The new funds will be mainly invested in product development and expanding the team.
Founded in 2015, Polarsteps is used by travelers in over 180 countries to track their trips and share them in real time with their closest friends and family. Travelers also use the platform to explore inspiring trips of others, which include endeavors such as "Around the world in an ambulance", "Nepal on a Royal Enfield", and "Exploring Iceland by bicycle". Polarsteps makes money by letting users buy Travel Books: instant photo albums of trips that can be ordered at the push of a button.
Polarsteps’ one million registered users have collectively traveled over 52 million days on the app, which is shown on a heat map that the company published today. The map exposes the most popular travel routes across the globe.
According to Polarsteps co-founder and CEO Koen Droste, the future of the platform will be about much more than just tracking and remembering trips: "Being avid travelers ourselves, we founded Polarsteps because we want to inspire and connect people through travel. We believe that the best way to do that is by creating a place where the entire travel experience is combined within one platform. From the very first inspiration on where to go, to remembering your trip years after it has ended. That’s why we’ve been working behind the scenes on our next big challenge: to re-invent the way in which travelers plan their trips. In the coming year we will roll out a whole new way for travelers to plan their next journey. Polarsteps will become the place to go to for planning, tracking and remembering all your trips."
Kyang Yung, Investment Director at INKEF, commented: “The two things that stood out to us about Polarsteps were the virality of the product and a company business model that is global from the get-go. The growth they have been able to achieve with basically zero paid marketing is remarkable, to say the least. We were equally impressed with the team’s overall vision, and their laser-focus on building a product that consumers love. The Polarsteps team has the potential to create something truly disruptive in the travel space, and we’re excited to join them on their journey.”
The Amsterdam-based company currently has 10 employees and plans to rapidly expand its team.
Video: Polarsteps welcomes 1.000.000th user
Heatmap: most popular travel routes around the world
For high-resolution photos and app imagery, please see our Media Kit.
INKEF Capital is an Amsterdam-based venture capital firm that focuses on long-term collaboration and active support of innovative healthcare and technology companies. INKEF Capital was founded in 2010 by Dutch pension fund ABP and with €500 million under management it is one of the largest venture capital funds in the Netherlands. INKEF focuses on investment opportunities in Healthcare, Technology, IT/New Media & FinTech. For more information: www.INKEF.com
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Polarsteps is helping over 4 million travelers across the world to plan, track, and relive their trips. The Amsterdam scale-up was founded in 2015 by a team of avid travelers with a passion for smart technology and cool design. The all-in-one travel app makes every part of the journey easier and more enjoyable: from the very first spark of travel inspiration to reliving it when it’s all over and done. The goal? To inspire and connect people across the globe through travel — so that everyone can express their wanderlust in a beautiful (and responsible) way.
Polarsteps – Make your way in the world
About the app
Easily use your travel bucket list to plan a trip and build your own editable itinerary. Once you're there, let us take over and plot your path on a digital world map that you can fill with your own photos, videos, and thoughts. Want to share your journey? Simply invite your loved ones along for the virtual ride. Finally, at the end of it all, you can create a beautifully designed Travel Book with the push of a button – turning your travel moments (the good, the bad, and everything in between) into lifetime memories.