CONTRIBUTOR: Emma Castle
MEET THE START-UP: ANURAG VERMA FROM TROTTER
What is Trotter?
Trotter brings together personalised travel tips and recommendations just for you, from the people you trust, allowing you to spend less time researching and more time doing, seeing and experiencing the things you’re interested in.
It connects across all your social media platforms – Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram, SMS, email, Slack, LinkedIn, etc. – so you can use Trotter to reach out to your entire network for travel tips, and their recommendations will automatically appear in your Trotter app. Without you having to lift more than a finger, and without them even having to download Trotter.
All those tips can be saved in the one place and can be accessed anywhere, anytime, even offline. You can also share your own travel tips and guides with friends and followers to inspire their journeys too.
Put differently, if TripAdvisor, Instagram and Quora had a few drinks together, Trotter would be their smarter, sexier and more useful child.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves …
Anurag – my professional background is corporate law and finance. I’ve got an undergrad degree in law and finance, and a Masters in Law and Finance from Oxford. I’ve been doing corporate and private equity transactions for almost 10 years. I love sports, travel and technology. I left the rigours of a top tier law firm last year and am currently doing some part-time legal work on the side whilst I dedicate time and effort to Trotter.
Suv – Navy brat! – Grew up in various military bases across India and moved to Australia to pursue a Master’s degree in Software Engineering from the Australian National University. I love technology, motorbikes, and airplanes. I have been professionally developing software for around 15 years, during which time I have developed enterprise scale, secure, internet-based applications for large corporations. I have been involved in the start-up space for over 3 years now during which time I have played the role of investor, development manager, tech specialist and CTO.
Sax – Before Trotter I ran another start-up, called Piclay, which is a photo-editing app. Over the course of 4+ years we were able to receive over 10 million downloads and an exit earlier this year. I’m working as a freelance UI/UX designer and artist on the side whilst dedicating time to Trotter.
Where did the idea come from?
I (Anurag) spent 4 years working and traveling in the UK. I always found that it took me longer to plan my trips, than actually go on them, and that I would invariably do the things my friends recommended over and above any tip from online review sites. It was the same amongst all my friends, and the common issue we all faced was that there was no easy way to get tips from people we trusted.
Some time later I was travelling through Patagonia and was on a bus with other travellers having all just ‘conquered’ the Perito Moreno glacier. I overheard a bunch of travellers comparing tips for Buenos Aires, fretting about not having a pen to write down the recommendations, trying to get each others’ numbers and names to be added as Facebook friends so they could be contacted in case they forgot the name of that secret bar, etc.
It was then that I realised that even now, travellers do not have a platform which reflects the way we travel in real life. In real life we meet new people, we make friends, we share tips with friends, family, people who know us or trust us because we are like-minded, we share stories and we ask questions. In real life we go where people we know tell us to go. In real life we are inspired to plan our next adventure. Online travel does not match real-life travel. And Trotter aims to change that.
Where do you see it going in the next year?
We have big plans over the next year to achieve product market fit and finesse our proprietary ‘personalisation’ algorithm, so that each person receives a curated set of tips and recommendations from people who are ‘like them’. We’ve spent a considerable amount of time building Trotter in a way that captures as much insight from users’ interactions as possible. We’d like to have enough data over the next year to allow us to start forming insights that can be used to make Trotter a smarter and more useful platform than it is today.
If someone walked up to you and offered to help, what would you ask for?
Strategy, advice and contacts to establish partnerships with hotels, airlines, restaurants, etc.
If people want to learn more, how can they get in touch?
You can email any one of us – Anurag@trotterapp.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Our website is www.trotter.app. We’re also very active on social media – @trotter_app on Instagram, @trotter_travel on Twitter or Trotter App on Facebook. So you can contact us in many different ways!