Dopplr is an online service for frequent travellers that allows you to share your future travel plans with a group of friends so you can know if they are going to be in the same places you will be next. Before using Dopplr it was difficult for me to know where in the world my friends would be. But now with Dopplr, I found out, for example, that many of them will also attend the World Economic Forum’s meeting in Dalian, where I am flying to in a few hours. And they are many: Rodrigo Sepulveda, Tariq Krim, David Sifry, Joichi Ito, Joshua Ramo and Marko Ahtissari.

Dopplr was founded by Marko Ahtisaari, my friend and also Fonero leader in Finland. So after using Dopplr, I ended up investing in Dopplr.

Dopplr Receives Funding from Premier International Team:
Varsavsky, Ito, Hoffman and Klein invest in online social-travel service

Helsinki, Finland – September 4, 2007 – Dopplr, the online social service for frequent world travellers, has secured early-stage financing from an international group of experienced Internet investors.

The investors are Martin Varsavsky, Joichi Ito, Reid Hoffman and The Accelerator Group lead by Saul Klein. This international team—frequent travelers who themselves use Dopplr—has separately made previous investments in many successful Internet companies, including Last.fm, Joost, FON, LinkedIn, Flickr, Technorati, Wikia, Xing, Six Apart and Netvibes.

“We’re gratified that so many world travellers have already found value in Dopplr,” said Lisa Sounio, CEO of Dopplr. “Having this international group of active Dopplr users now joining us as strategic investors is tremendously exciting. Martin, Saul, Joichi and Reid have a great sense of business, technology, design and travel.”

Investor Martin Varsavsky said: “We chose to invest in Dopplr because of the strong team and the simple execution of a great idea. Dopplr is like the iPod of social networks. It is very valuable to know where your friends and colleagues will be and where in the world you will meet them next. This is the one thing that Dopplr does really well.”

How does Dopplr work? Dopplr lets you, via an invitation system, share your future travel plans with a group of trusted fellow travellers whom you have chosen. It also reminds you of friends and colleagues who live in the cities you’re planning to visit. For example, Dopplr might tell you that three of your trusted friends and colleagues will be in Barcelona when you are there next.

The Guardian newspaper recently chose Dopplr as one of 10 independent Internet companies to watch. Dopplr was also highlighted, alongside Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo and Digg, as a useful Web service at the recent Nokia launch of the Ovi services brand in London.

About Dopplr

Dopplr is an online service for frequent travellers. It was created by an international team of world travellers. Dopplr lets you, via an invitation system, share your future travel plans with a group of trusted fellow travellers whom you have chosen. It also reminds you of friends and colleagues who live in the cities you’re planning to visit.

In general, people will find Dopplr valuable if they travel more than five times a year or have friends who do as well.

Currently open by invitation only, Dopplr has spread quickly. To date, Dopplr travellers have shared over 100 million kilometers of trips to over 2000 cities around the world with their close friends and colleagues.

Dopplr’s founders are: Lisa Sounio, chief executive officer; Matt Biddulph, chief technology officer; Matt Jones, design director; and Dan Gillmor, founding traveller. Marko Ahtisaari is a founding investor.

About the Investors

Martin Varsavsky: The Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur has founded seven companies in the past 20 years. They include Jazztel Telecomunicaciones, Spain’s second largest publicly traded telecom operator, and Ya.com, Spain’s third largest internet web site/DSL provider that includes the second largest Spanish language web agency www.viajar.com. His current venture is FON, founded in November in 2005, a community-empowered company dedicated to building the world’s largest global WiFi network in a bottom-up way; FON’s partners include Skype, eBay and Google. Martin also works in a variety of nonprofit activities, including his management of the Varsavsky Foundation best known as founder of two large educational projects in Latin America, Educ.ar (Argentina) and EducarChile (Chile) and the Safe Democracy Foundation.

Joichi Ito: Another longtime Internet entrepreneur, Joichi Ito is a co-founder and board member of Digital Garage and the CEO of Neoteny. He is the Chairman of Creative Commons. He is on the board of Technorati and helps run Technorati Japan. He is the Chairman of Six Apart Japan, the weblog software company. He is the board of a number of non-profit organizations the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and WITNESS. He has created numerous Internet companies including PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan. He has served and continues to serve on numerous Japanese central as well as local government committees and boards, advising the government on IT, privacy and computer security related issues.

Reid Hoffman: The founder of LinkedIn, a business-oriented social networking service with millions of active users, Reid is now chairman and president, products, driving product and business strategy. Before founding LinkedIn he was Executive Vice President of PayPal, which eBay purchased for $1.5 billion in 2002. Reid also has held management roles in large technology companies, including Fujitsu Software Corporation and Apple. He’s invested in numerous Internet startups, with a focus on consumer-oriented companies, and is on the board of directors at SixApart and the Mozilla Corporation.

Saul Klein: Currently living in London, where he is a venture partner with Index Ventures, Saul has started or had a major hand in many Internet and technology ventures. They include Skype, where he was global vice president of marketing and e-commerce; Video Island, where he was CEO, recently merged with LoveFilm to become Europe’s leading online DVD rental and movie download service. He was also a founding partner of The Accelerator Group, where he was an active seed investor in both US and European start-ups including Moo.com, SpotRunner, Edgeio, Daylife, Stardoll and Last.fm. Saul held management positions at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond within the Web Platform Services Group; served as the senior vice president for Firefly Network (acquired by Microsoft), and was director of digital communication at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. He currently serves on the board of directors of bridges.org, an international non-profit which works to promote the effective use of information and communications technology in developing countries.

For Journalists:

If you have questions, please contact us at press@dopplr.com. (If you want an invite to Dopplr, to try it out for yourself, just ask.)

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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martin on September 5, 2007  · 

Yves Michali on September 7, 2007  · 

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