It seems I've grown suspicious of Swedish travel startups, or perhaps more specifically, social travel startups. Tripbirds had a really interesting social travel idea, but focused down on hotel booking with a few social features. Tripl was absolutely gorgeous, but shuttered recently. But there's plenty of room for digital improvements the travel sphere, especially when it comes to working with traditional partners.
mTrotter is a Swedish startup that popped up on our radar. They currently don't offer their services directly to consumers, but instead work with travel agencies and travel partners to provide a mobile all-in-one travel planner.
The cross-platform app solves the problem of figuring out the practicalities of getting around in a foreign city. For instance, when you arrive at the airport should you take a taxi to the city center? The mTrotter app could instead tell you that the express train is quicker and cheaper, and leaves in 10 minutes. Or if a taxi makes more sense, you can pre-book one using Helsinki-based Cabforce's API.
"When it comes to existing bookings, we cooperate with travel agencies and so on, but we also have an in-house content team that makes quality assurance and so on of the ground transport information. So it's a mix of all kinds of integrations," says Emma Heimonen, CEO of mTrotter.
If mTrotter doesn't know much about you as a traveler, they provide a standard solution with taxi bookings, flight information, offline maps, and other features. But if your employer is a customer of mTrotter, they provide more of a customized solution where companies can add their company policies, such as which taxi companies to use. On top of that, the app can also provide company landmarks, such as where their London offices are, right into the app.
"The way it works today is that companies will just post their policies on their intranet. When you are traveling, how useful is that information when it's on the intranet? You should have it with you on your mobile where it makes sense."
When I travel, I don't necessarily look into the practicalities enough, or if I do, plans change a lot on the road. Traveling is an iterative process where you book flights a week in advance, but you might not know your exact ground transportation needs until a day before your trips. So an app with everything in front of you makes a lot of sense.
The company has plans of releasing their service directly to consumers, but currently they only have a beta announcement email form.