As US travel begins to come back in 2021, a Nashville-based tech startup is looking to make tourism more personal.
Stroll, a location-based, personalized app, is what CEO John Mark (JM) Eberhardt describes as a local city guide mixed with Instagram. Beyond a map or utility app, Eberhardt told Hypepotamus that users can curate the main feed based on personal travel preferences.
Using what Stroll calls ‘Glimpses,’ visitors can find new spots around a city and engage with the local business community. Businesses and members, in turn, get real-time attribution analytics and can more easily grow a local-based marketing plan.
Stroll looks to capitalize on the growing ‘real-time tourism’ trend. Over the last year the team has added in the capability to pay for a meal or merchandise from within Stroll, as a way to “engage more people for a low cost,” he added.
The team also partners with municipalities to capitalize on the growth of smart city initiatives.
Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Charleson Bell has led the charge on several new patents that help make Stroll an all-in-one app for those looking to engage with a city based on their specific interests.
It isn’t surprising that a tourism-specific app has emerged out of Nashville’s exploding tech scene. The city saw a record-setting 16.1 million visitors in 2019. Eberhardt, a graduate of Western Kentucky University, initially moved to Nashville while launching his first tech-enabled startup venture, a universal scheduling app for barbers called Got You In.
“The Nashville community has just been more than helpful,” he added. “In particular, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation has been just outstanding.”
Stroll’s team is currently spread between Nashville, Louisville, and Dallas.
Eberhardt said the team is coming out of the “survival mode” they were in over the course of the pandemic. The team recently raised a corporate funding round, though details about the investment were not disclosed.
The team recently announced that there will be an upcoming social media-focused show, Vibe Guide by Stroll, featuring influencers using the app to explore new cities. A Southeast tour from Louisville to Miami will kick off later this year.