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Big Investors Are Helping Trippy Go the Distance

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This story appears in the May 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

J.R. Johnson was waiting out a three-year noncompete agreement after he sold his travel website, VirtualTourist, to Expedia in 2008. He couldn't build a new business in the travel sector, but that didn't stop him from watching the evolution of user-generated travel sites like a kid with his nose pressed to a candy shop window.

When the noncompete expired in the summer of 2011, the online travel sector had been dogged with reports of fraudulent reviews on large, user-generated sites. Johnson examined his own travel preferences and realized that he relied on his friends' recommendations more than those from websites or guidebooks. Social media made sharing those recommendations easier than ever. Trippy was born.

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