After launching their public beta back in January, co-founders David Chait and Chris Davis have been working to make Travefy the go-to option for planning a group trip. Since then, they’ve introduced a major redesign and distilled the user experience to a dead-simple interface.
Recently the pair gained some major support in bringing their vision to the jet-setting masses: Travefy just closed a $320,000 seed round of funding, including investments from the Nebraska Angels, Nebraska Global, Nelnet, Columbia University and other angel backers.
Much of the capital will be used to hire two full-time employees, doubling Travefy’s staff. Those positions will be filled by Scott Rutz, a designer who most recently worked at Nelnet, and Matt Posvar, who’s leaving his position as lead web developer at Nebraska Book Company.
"They've been working with us for almost a year now in a moonlighting fashion, so with this raise they will be able to join us full time,” Chait told Silicon Prairie News. “We're really excited to double our staff and to scale the team at such a critical time for us."
Travefy plans to use the funds to take their product out of public beta and into the stages of a more formal launch. During this time the team will focus more directly on adoption in key markets, including college students. This round of seed funding follows previous angel investment by Omaha-based Linseed Capital as well as a grant from the Nebraska Innovation Fund.
The app also has a number of new features on the horizon. The one closest to market is their all-encompassing finance tool, which helps manage who pays who, whether it’s for dinner or a hotel room.
"When you have a trip you're going to have lots of these different sorts of expenses come in and it's very difficult to keep track," Chait said. "I could owe six different people money and five people could owe me money by the end of the trip."
The service analyzes the costs that users input and internally running an algorithm that calculates what each individual’s net fee is before sending them the bill. Right now the app is browser-based, but the final product will have different levels of mobile responsiveness built in.
"It solves one of the biggest and most awkward headaches that exists, which is asking people for money," Chait said.
Credits: David Chait photo from LinkedIn.