Polarsteps, an Amsterdam-based travel tracking startup, announced today that it has raised €500,000 in seed funding from Silver Point Ventures and TMG. The Dutch 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 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, Polarsteps Co-founder Niek Bokkers created a little app which enabled him to log and share his route (via satellite phone) with friends and family at home. During his trip, he got a ton of positive feedback from 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. This is why Niek and his small team decided to further develop it into an app for all travelers that helps them to automatically track and share their adventures in a nice and easy way.
Polarsteps Co-founder Koen Droste stated: “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.”
In regards to the new investors, he stated: “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”
As a result of the investment, Polarsteps will expand its team and move into a new office in Amsterdam. Polarsteps also plans to start experimenting with monetization models around trip planning and printed photo albums.