Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Gogobot CEO Travis Katz Talks About Beta Launch of Social Travel Site

Last week, BoomTown sat down with former Myspace exec Travis Katz to talk about the private beta launch of his new start-up, Gogobot.

No, it’s not a robot from Google–it’s a social travel site, which uses friends to enhance the travel-planning experience.

The name means nothing really except that it sounded energetic and adventurous to Katz, with a bit of tech mixed in.

While in a bit of a stealth mode, Gogobot has been a bit of an open secret in Silicon Valley.

Katz and CTO Ori Zaltzman–most recently the chief architect of Yahoo BOSS–started the company earlier this year with a small team.

It garnered $4 million in venture funding from Battery Ventures, Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and angel investors Chris DeWolfe, Keith Rabois and Oren Ze’ev.

Gogobot rides on top of social networking behemoths such as Facebook and Twitter.

Said Gogogot in its press release:

“Unlike other travel sites, Gogobot connects users with friends and people like them for travel advice and links the advice they give in real-time with maps, pictures, pricing and descriptions.”

Essentially, it feels like Facebook for trips, but with really good images.

Currently, Gogobot links users to hotels and other information, but eventually its business plan is to complete reservations and garner lead generation revenues.

We’ll see how it goes, but the online travel business, despite being huge among consumers, certainly could use some updating and organization–and some innovation.

Here’s the video interview I did last week with Katz–who ran international operations for Myspace–talking about where Gogobot is traveling to:

And here are a pair of screenshots for the service (click on the images to make them larger):


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik