Shortly after establishing a branch office in Singapore in January 2014 — its first step out of home country Japan — travel experiences marketplace trippiece today announced that it has launched an English version site for global adventure seekers.
At the moment, trippiece has more than 70,000 users on its Japanese website, of which 15,000 has been or will go on both, domestic and international trips. Its platform is targeted at a new wave of travellers, especially those who would like to meet like-minded people; users can create and plan trips, and ask others to join via trippiece.
The idea of trippiece, the brainchild of Ian Ishida, CEO and Founder, trippiece, was first birthed out of a tweet. Ishida had casually mentioned his desire to plan a trip to Bangladesh on Twitter, and received an “overwhelming response” from friends and followers. Later, he found himself on his way to Bangladesh with 18 strangers.
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The three-year-old company had last made headlines with a US$2 million investment from Draper Nexus Venture Partners and other investors. According to the same report syndicated on e27, originally published by beSUCCESS, trippiece would utilise the funds to improve its mobile capabilities.
While such “off the beaten path” concepts have been gaining popularity in Asia, trippiece has something which other businesses seem to neglect — a social element. For example, even though sites like Voyagin, BeMyGuest, Triip, exist to provide a more unique experience, users cannot create their own trips and plan with strangers or friends.
With regard to its plans to expand outside of Japan, trippiece noted that both websites — English and Japanese — will function the same way. “However,” it added, “we are taking a more conservative approach with the English website.” On the English website launched today, only “star users” will have access to planner functions to create and start a trip. These “star users” refer to a group of existing users who are experienced with the current Japanese website.