Milano-based Ploonge launched a couple of years ago as a service looking to make travel guides a bit more fun by letting you create your own and share them with your friends.
The service, which will be free on the web and through mobile, has yet to launch, but I’m told that they are planning to go live sometime before the end of this year. At the moment, users can sign up and access the beta version for Milan, Berlin, and various other cities, but most will need to wait until the platform expands to their town. You can create an account directly through the site or through Facebook, but using the latter might make it a bit easier to immediately find your friends within the service.
Unlike a number of startups prior to launch, Ploonge has already attracted several thousand users. CEO Giorgio Bertolini says that they initially created the business a couple of years ago, but decided that they were headed in the wrong direction and they pivoted. Bertolini says that they consulted with Marco Gualtieri, founder of ticket-seller TicketOne, and other successful startups about how to grow and Gualtieri ended up joining the team.
Competition is stiff, as there are a number of travel-guide services out. However, many of them seem to offer recommendations based on an algorithm, as opposed to letting users create their own plans.
Although it has not yet officially launched, the company has picked up 300K Euro from Milan-based private equity firm Berrier Capital and a Series A appears to be in the works, but few details about that are available at the moment.