A new trip curation app created by the former business director of upmarket concierge travel firm Black Tomato has launched.
A test version of HOOF for Apple devices only launched six weeks ago and this week an updated version was approved and went live on the App Store.
Founder Elliott Grant, who funded the build of the original version then called Small World by selling his car, said the app was “ready to go” after the latest update was confirmed this week.
Officially launching the app at yesterday’s Travolution Summit, Elliott said: “When I was working for Black Tomato I was travelling a lot but I was losing track of where I had been.
“I thought there must be a way of logging all this information but I couldn’t find anything on the app store.
“There wasn’t any kind of medium for storing check-ins as you travel around. In Facebook and Instagram they tend to fall off your feed and you never see them again.”
HOOF stores check-ins and pictures to create trips and users can set proximity boundaries and control who they share their trips with.
They can also search for check-ins their friends have previously recorded locally to where they are and create specific groups to share trips with so they can follow their travels.
An element of gameification has also been developed into the app which allows users to collect miles, country ‘passport’ stamps and check-ins and established themselves as an influencer.
Grant said he is also working on allowing users to retrospectively check-in to places they have been and taken photos with dates and geo-tags.
The app currently has 400 users and Grant said he hopes to hit at least 20,000 to 25,000 users which will establish Hoof as a marketing platform for firms wanting to reach its community of users.
He added he hopes to be making money from the app by the middle of next year by opening up the platform for location-based marketing by travel and non-travel brands.
Grant is looking to raise a further £200,000 seed funding at the end of this year. Last year it raised £125,000 from investors.
At the outset Hoof is targeting gap year travellers believing it offers the most potential to grow its audience quickly as they leave school and make new friends in higher education.
A survey it conducted among 18-25-year-olds show these young travellers most want to want to keep in contact with their parents when travelling overseas.
Over half (58%) said the plan to keep in touch with their parents compared to 23% who stated their friends was their top choice.
Although many respondents said they never update their social media feeds and some block family, especially their father, 57% said safety was their main concern when travelling.
Grant said: “We know there is demand for a new travel app designed specifically for travellers on the road.
“Seventy eight percent of Gap Year travellers say they are likely to use HOOF, however, it is useful for all ages whether you’re backpacking or travelling for business and want to network with new contacts at a conference.”