Women-Founded Travel Startup Out of Office Secures $3.5M
From working at a men’s clothing brand to launching their own startup, two Chicago women recently secured new funding for their platform Out of Office (OOO), which launched back in August.
On Wednesday, the startup raised $3.5 million in a round led by Hyde Park Venture Partners, a Chicago-based VC firm that invests in early to mid-stage startups. With the new investment, OOO has raised a total of $5 million, according to Chicago Inno who first reported the news.
OOO is a travel planning app in which users can look for accommodations, meals and activities while vacationing. The platform has recommendations in over 3,500 cities. With the app, users can also leave reviews for restaurants and hotels to give future travelers insight on whether a spot is worth visiting or not. According to its website, the app also has a social feature that allows users to follow friends and see their recommendations.
The company was co-founded by Jan Seale and Coabi Kastan. The two worked at Trunk Club according to their LinkedIn profiles and held senior positions in the company’s sales department before departing and going to work for different startups.
“When we started, a lot of people looked at us like we were insane,” Seale told Chicago Inno. “‘You’re starting a travel company in the midst of a global pandemic when all the borders are closed? What are you guys thinking?’ Coabi and I always felt really strongly that travel would rebound. It wasn’t a question of if, it was a question of when.”
Currently, OOO only lets users view recommendations and has an integration with the OpenTable app so people can make restaurant reservations. Eventually, Seale and Kastan want to make it so people will be able to book hotels and flights directly from the app, according to the Chicago Inno.