Friends of Friends Travel, also known as FOF, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs to raise £120,000 so that it will expand its quickly growing website. The startup has already been recognized by TIME Magazine, the NY Times, CBS News, and The Times newspaper and has been considered a “noteworthy new player in the sharing economy, collaborative consumption space.”
Explaining what has made the website so popular, the FOF team shared, “We make it really easy for people to ask friends, and friends of friends, for help when traveling. Unlike Airbnb and Couchsurfing, which focus on accommodations only, you can ‘FOF’ just about anything from a free place to stay to somewhere to leave your stuff for the night, a tour of the city, coffee with a local or may even rent a spare wakeboard or tent someone has collecting dust in the shed.”
Sharing the website’s intended impact, the team stated, “Travelers could benefit from FOF by having access to a trustworthy and reliable network of people that are willing to help them out for free or for a small fee. Unlike many other travel services that have integrated social networking in retrospect, a person’s real life contacts are at the heart of what we do, and it is from the rich pool of friends and family that we reveal untapped resources and opportunities to travel. People do this every day already we’re just trying to make it easier and do it better.
“The travel industry could benefit not just from increased mobility and tourism we facilitate and encourage, but also by the creation of greater competition against the monopolies and giving small, medium and established social audience. We believe that the information and knowledge we will be accumulating about the millennial generation in particular is extremely valuable, especially when helping to identity new market and product opportunities.”
Besides being dubbed “press worthy,” FOF accomplished 4,500+ registered users from 108+ countries around the world, in all 6 major continents. Partnerships with STA Travel, Hostelworld.com, World Nomads, G Adventures, Topdeck, Busabout, and RacingthePlanet.
In regards to where the funds will go, the team shared the £120k they are raising towards the following, by order of importance:
- Attracting and retaining talent: The CTO and development team will be receiving a full salary to keep them focused on maintaining a steady release schedule, one that will help us roll and pivot as much as required. Our aim is to launch the MVP for the FOF app by early next year.
- Product development: The team will be devoting ourselves to rebuilding the concept from scratch using a combination of new technology we know is really hot right now in Silicon Valley and at General Assembly.
- Marketing & PR: The team plans to follow in Airbnb and Uber’s footsteps by going with an aggressive marketing campaign, synchronised in a handful of key cities we have strong networks in. We also plan to invest in a really good explainer video and possibly a viral one as well that’s focused on inspiring wanderlust.
In exchange for the 120,000, FOF will give 13% equity to help the website launch their app; grow quickly and gain more market share.
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