Many decide to create their own businesses only after they have obtained a bit of money or life experience. Maciej Mietek, founder of Poznan-based self-guided tour service TripOwn, decided that there was no use in waiting. He created his first successful startup a few years ago at the young age of 20, but has since pivoted the business and, this week, his company relaunches in its current form.
Unlike other trip-planning services, which might simply offer a listing of restaurants, shops, or attractions, TripOwn aims to stand apart by providing themes that users can selected to take personalized journeys. Having selected the themes, users are presented with a trip based upon their choices, including the time and distance for reference. If it is not what you are seeking, you can change it up a bit and select different themes. After users finalize the trip, they are then emailed guides for each location along the route, with a detailed description of the site and listings for nearby restaurants and shops.
In addition to its home base of Poznan, TripOwn currently operates in New York City, Mexico City, Budapest, Krakow, London, and Paris, but Mietek says that long-term plans include expanding as quickly as possible to other cities. They also plan to expand beyond the city to add outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, and more.
The app, which has yet to launch, will be free to download. Mietek says that the company derives its revenue from vouchers that can be purchased and exchanged for various activities. As the service is just now re-launching, he tells me that they have not yet worked out the pricing model. TripOwn also offers an affiliate program to cities, which ostensibly allows them to improve the tourist experience with packages starting at $399.
Mietek is no stranger to developing a successful business, having brought in 30K users and helped create 7,500 trips through the original service before they decided to pivot. Mietek says that he first decided to create a personalized-tour back in 2011 and then launched it in 2013. The service developed significant traction, but the team behind the business decided that they were not satisfied with the growth and decided to pivot. The service initially aimed to help people discover places which received no attention in travel guides, but decided to shift their focus and now re-launches.
Mietek tells me that the sole investor in his company is SpeedUp IQbator. He cannot reveal the total investment, but would say that it fell betwen 100-200K Euro.