Day Trippers founder Diana King is passionate about seeing the world—she’s lived in 11 countries and traveled to 123. Her travels and her research both told her that people are looking for curated experiences that connect with the local community and culture.
“Experiences is a $200 billion market, and that’s not accounting for segmentation,” she says. “Everyone’s interests are different. When you dive into that, the opportunity is 10X. For instance, if you include ‘outdoor,’ as an interest, then you’re looking at more like $500 billion.”
Day Trippers is a sustainability-first marketplace for personalized travel experiences powered by creators and community. Users can discover exactly what they’re looking for while they’re traveling, and they’re instantly able to book experiences that match their interests.
The Challenges of Fundraising as a Woman Founder
Diana has 20 years of experience growing billion-dollar businesses as a global executive, but this is her first time leading a tech startup. “As a sole female founder, life is tough,” she says. “Very little funding goes to companies run by women, which is shocking. Right now, we’re raising approximately $2 million; we’re hoping to raise that in the next couple of months. But I plan to grow Day Trippers into a billion-dollar company.”
“We have a very humble approach to bootstrapping here; I even learned to code in order to build the platform. But this company is never going to grow the way we want without investment. Everyone says fundraising is so difficult—and it is. Everyone says it’s a full-time job—and it is. I knew I had the passion and the drive, and I knew I could do this. But at first, I sometimes wondered, “How is it all going to happen?”
As she was working on her fundraising plan, an acquaintance at a VC firm mentioned Carta. Then, her lawyer recommended that she look at Carta Launch. “Once I started working with Carta’s Launch platform, I could easily see how the fundraising could all come together. The tools are all there to make it happen—to show how professional your company can be. And to make it easy for investors to invest. I love that.”
Getting onto the platform was the next step. “I loved the idea of learning about it myself, but it was all new to me. As a founder, you don’t want to make a mistake—it’s your investors—so I reached out to the support team at Carta. The person I talked to offered to do a video conference and help guide me through. Customer service has changed a lot over the years. Nowadays, you often don’t even get a phone number! An experience like I had with Carta is so rare.”
Doubling Day Trippers’ Valuation with Carta Launch
The company started with one original angel investor. “We did everything on paper,” she said. “Our relationship was already good, But when I moved over to Carta Launch, I could feel it actually changed the dynamic. It’s professional. It’s streamlined. It makes investors feel secure. That investor came back with double the original investment in a pre-seed round.”
Two more investors came on board with the pre-seed round. The third investor manages a boutique investment fund with 25 companies in their portfolio. “They told me, ‘Some of our other startups are on their platform. We love Carta!’”
“My investors now know that when I raise more money, I’ll keep them in the loop. It’s easy for them to get critical information. As my company’s growing, they see the portfolio changing live—without me having to do anything. And I know, when I’m raising the next round, that this part is taken care of. I feel so secure with Carta’s platform.”