When thinking about Ukrainian startups, most people immediately think of the capital, Kiev, or perhaps Odessa. You might not consider the western city of Lviv to be a startup hub, but TripMe aims to do their part in changing this.
The tour-guide platform remains in pre-launch mode, but in a few weeks, they look to establish themselves in the local market. The startup is currently due to officially launch later this month and will partner with the Lviv Book Forum, an annual festival which reportedly drew more than 60K attendees in 2010.
CEO Anton Pivniuk, who previously co-founded advertising platform PromoRepublic, tells me that he was inspired to create the business by his own frustrations with finding a suitable service, so he put together a team and headed to Hack4Good, an international hackathon held in Kiev last October, to get their start. They ended up coming in 3rd place and now look to take their initial concept and turn it into a genuine business.
It is difficult to say which features will be available until the service launches, but users will be able to access different types of tours, such as those featuring famous people, street art, unique architecture, and more. As we live in the age of “social,” users will naturally be able to share interesting sites and tours with their friends. Pivniuk is aware that the guide market is saturated, but believes that they can stand out by telling interesting stories. The app is free, but they will require payment for certain features.
At the moment, the company is bootstrapping. Pivniuk says that they are looking to add “gaming” features and expand internationally, but right now the concern appears to be on simply getting the business off the ground.