Rotterdam-based Travel Diaries, a digital platform enabling travellers to chronicle their adventures in a photo-filled diary for free, announced on Friday, November 11, that it has secured €1.2M in funding.
However, the company didn’t disclose the investor’s name.
In addition to funding, the Dutch company announced a rebrand to Journal Lab.
Talking about it, Veerle Witte, founder & CEO of Journal Lab, says, “We will continue under a new name, Journal Lab, with our labels Travel Diaries and Baby Diaries underneath that. Because we are not just an app for creating travel journals anymore. We are a journal software tech startup, striving to create the best and biggest journal apps in the world, to create any type of book you can imagine.”
The company plans to utilise the funds to develop and accelerate the growth of its existing applications in the market.
Furthermore, it aims to expand its offerings by introducing new applications, including an app for creating, sharing, and printing personal cookbooks and a general journaling app.
Journal Lab: Helping to create beautiful journals
In 2014, Veerle Witte, a Dutch travel journalist who writes for National Geographic Traveler and other publications, founded Journal Lab (previously Travel Diaries).
Her inspiration for starting the service came from a four-month trip to South America a few years earlier.
During her adventure, Veerle wanted to create an online diary with articles, maps, and photographs, but she couldn’t find a website that combined all of these elements with some degree of creativity.
After much tinkering and development, Veerle launched Travel Diaries. The platform allows users to create and customise their diaries using an online editor. It provides a realistic book-like feel, enabling users to add stories, photos, and maps.
With various layout and style options available, users can personalise their diaries to suit their preferences.
In 2014, Travel Diaries had 120,000 users. Presently, the company has 2,500 paying users, and 70 per cent renew their subscriptions yearly.
Almost 50 per cent of subscribers opt for a printed book, claims Quotenet.nl.
The company aims to focus on English-speaking markets like the US and Australia.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a reassessment of Travel Diaries’ revenue model. Facing a downturn in turnover, Witte grabbed the opportunity to enhance the product and introduce three subscription tiers.
The most affordable version charges € 0.99 / month after a potential 30-day trial period. Subscribers opting for PDF downloads or discounted pre-orders of printed books pay €3 to €5 per month.
During this period, the platform expanded its scope to include Baby Diaries, capturing the highs and lows of the baby and pregnancy period. Plans for sharing and printing recipe books and a general diary app are also in progress, reports Quotenet.nl.