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Typically corporate trips are great – you get to use someone else’s credit card for travel and meals. There’s only one time that corporate travel sucks – and that’s the time it takes to put together the expense report for the trip. As a former accountant and auditor, I got the bonus of having to review and let employees know when their steak and vodka was over the corporate limit.
Startup ExpenseBay aims to make reporting expenses easier and less painful. ExpenseBay allows you to connect to your personal or corporate credit card. Your transactions are downloaded into ExpenseBay and then you can assign them as needed into the different categories (e.g. meals, hotels, escort services, etc.). The mobile app also allows you to note cash transactions as they happen which is typically the biggest issue with expense reporting.
You can attach receipts into each expense transaction which makes it easy to submit the expenses once complete. In addition, expenses can be submitted into your account via email.
ExpenseBay connects directly with some of the popular corporate accounting and expense reporting packages. They can also provide in-house company expense report management.
Continue reading “ExpenseBay Helps You Deal With the Horror of Expense Reports” »
Many of the startups I speak with do a good bit of traveling around the country and the world showing off their services. I am always forgetting some toiletry item when I travel. Typically I forget a fingernail clipper – I have so many of them at home I could open a store selling clippers. A new startup wants to make sure we never forget to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste or in my case, a clipper.
Suite Arrival allows you to order a pack of travel toiletries and have them delivered to your hotel on the day you arrive. You select whether you want a kit for a man or woman along with the length of the trip and Suite Arrival provides a customized toiletry kit for you. The kits are available for overnight, short trips, week-long trips and a “road warrior” pack which is for trips of more than 7 days.
The toiletry kit includes: shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, deodorant, mouthwash, razor, shaving cream, hairspray and moistureizers. You can also add some medications including aspirin, stomach aids, allergy and even sunblock lotion.
Pricing ranges from $14-28 and shipping on the first order is included in the price. The product categories can be customized (or upgraded) for $0.50-$2.00.
I’d like to see more options available in the kit. For example, let me order some cookies or candy. What about local maps? I think Suite Arrival could become the best welcome kit for a person arriving at a hotel.
Suite Arrival and, travel planning service, TripIt were made for each other. Both services are aiming to make traveling easier and the demographic on TripIt are probably those who would buy a package on Suite Arrival. Suite Arrival could also partner with travel agents and provide a commission when the travel agent sells a kit.
What do you forget when you travel?
Trip planning helper TripIt has announced today their Series B round of financing to the tune of $5.1 million. TripIt notes that the largest investors in this round are: Sabre Holdings, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and European Founders Fund. The company claims the money will be used to, "expand development, marketing and support for the rapidly growing number of travelers who rely on TripIt."
Oliver Samwer, European Founders Fund said, "The diverse European travel market is ideally suited for a service like TripIt that helps organize travel plans made across multiple travel suppliers." I am still looking for the revenue generation side of TripIt. If they are a post-sale service, then will an affiliate scheme work? Will users think of TripIt as more than just a receipt/itinerary application?
TripIt is announcing the launch of a mobile service today called TripIt Mobile. TripIt aggregates your trip plans into a nice "folder" for each trip which makes taking the actual trip easier. Instead of carrying around printouts of your travel plans, TripIt can bundle it together and now deliver it directly to your mobile for later retrieval.
The company also noted that the mobile version is great for their "closeness alerts". These alerts tell you when someone on your TripIt friends list is near where you will be near. I wrote about these alerts before and had concerns about the privacy of my trips. Check out the explanation for more details.
I am still looking forward to seeing how this company plans to generate revenue since their service is free. They have a travel search which I am assuming they make a rev share on but isn’t TripIt an "after the purchase" service?
TripIt, the tool that helps you manage your trips, is now adding a "closeness" function. Basically what this does is allow you to see other people who are taking trips that match where you will be. It’s a good idea in theory but TripIt sells themselves on being a zip-in, zip-out service, not a social network. Now they are starting to move past their core strength – will this dissolve the brand equity they have built so far in the industry?
What was missing from the information provided to me was how the security works – will anyone be able to see my trip plans? If so, I certainly hope this is turned off by default. Otherwise immediately when someone submits their trip receipts to TripIt will others be able to see them?
And more importantly, do I really care about finding others who are in the same area that I don’t know — especially if it’s a business trip? Now if they were hooking up singles looking to meet others on a trip where they could add to a calendar of sorts, that could be hot. Anywhoo, check out our previous TripIt coverage.
Trip planning service TripIt is launching a few userful updates to their service today. The most useful is their updated calendar integration which now syncs itineraries with any personal calendar that supports iCal, including Google Calendar, Outlook 2007, and Plaxo.
We’ve reviewed the service before but here is the simple description: take your email trip confirmations, email them into TripIt and get a nicely formatted page of your trip plan – almost like the old days TripTiks from AAA. Then you can share the plan with family and friends and, as noted above, add it to your calendar.
They’ve also added the ability to accept trip confirmations from
What’s interesting is a discussion I had with a fellow at the NY Tech Meetup about TripIt. He said he wouldn’t use this service because it really doesn’t save much time. I think the real benefit of TripIt is in the one printout and the sharing ability. When I travel, I print out every hotel, air, rail confirmation — with this I would only need for one printout.
Triple A (AAA) needs to acquire TripIt fast.
Editor’s note: We were provided a 10AM embargo time, but as other sites have posted this information prior to 10AM, we shall follow. They might have had different embargo times.
It’s a very easy service to use – email your bookings to TripIt and then you receive a response email. It handles almost any type of booking information from any service provider. After that you add everything into your TripPlan and then you receive an organized trip plan with lots of info about the location you are going to visit. It’s a great organization tool for keeping track of a trip. They have a social feature whereby you can add other people to view your plan and select users to edit your plan. Great for managers and their assistants. I could see a whitelabel version of this tool for the corporate environment doing very, very well.
We wrote about TripIt at TechCrunch40 and I believe they have seen the most buzz, both online and in print, since their launch.