London-based travel start-up Live2Leave officially launched its new app and website last night as it seeks to raise £750,000 in seed funding.
Founded by Céleste Owen-Jones, the app has generated 10,000 recommendations from its base of almost 3,000 largely millennial users of 25 to 35-year-olds.
It was launched in beta on the App Store in January 2017 and has since attracted significant interest, including from global accelerator Tech Stars which picked it out from hundreds of applications.
Since, it has been chosen to be a part of the current Hotels.com Hotel Jump Start programme that ends in July and in February was a finalist in the Travel Technology Europe Disrupt Awards.
In June it will take part in Google’s Start-up Grind European Conference that will take place in Westminster.
Owen-Jones has also been shortlisted in the young entrepreneur category in the British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame Awards that take place on Monday.
Live2Leave’s new app features a “slick” new design, and a wish list feature so users can keep recommendations they would like to experience in once place.
“We wanted to create a platform that empowers people to build their own travel brand. We want to do this at scale so we can partner with brands who want to know these people.
“Every recommendation is under your own profile so it’s a reflection of who you are, you build your own community so we very much want people to trust you.
“People can record their favourite hotels, restaurants, activities and at the same time access in one click their friends’ favourites and easily share it with them.”
Owen-Jones said the $80 million funding round announced this week by fellow London start-up Culture Trip proved how taking an inspirational content driven approach was the future in travel.
But she said Live2Leave’s philosophy means it does no pay for content. “The whole dynamic of brands paying for content is broken,” she said.
“People create recommendations and then we give it scale, we truly believe that’s the future of travel because that’s what millennials are doing anyway on a daily basis.
“It’s creating a product that’s good enough for them to do it on one platform.”
The launch of the website will give Live2Leave the opportunity to repurpose the content created on mobile into various themes and will become the platform for branded content.
The company now has four full time employees, including Owen-Jones’s best friend Léa Bourratière, and has 2,800 active monthly users that spend an average eight minutes per session.
Around 100 guests, including many users and travel bloggers and influencers attended last night’s launch event in Notting Hill, London.
Gallery: Live2Leave launch