Amsterdam-based travel startup Polarsteps allows travelers to share their trips in real time with their closest friends and family. The startup just announced that it has hit the one million user mark, and raised €3 million in a Series A round. The round was led by INKEF Capital, brings Polarsteps’ total funding to date to €4.6 million, after previously raising a €900k seed round in 2017.
Founded in 2015, Polarstep’s platform allows travelers to create their own personal photo albums, and to explore inspiring trips of others, with titles 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 their special “Travel Books”, which are 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 – shown on a heat map that the company published today. The map exposes the most popular travel routes across the globe.
The company currently has 10 employees and plans to use the new funding to rapidly expand its team.
Polarsteps co-founder and CEO Koen Droste said: “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, 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.”