Why we invested in Legends: The Social+ Travel Platform
Travel is inherently social. Travelers get inspired by the experiences that others share on social media and are compelled to post their own journeys to elevate their profiles. This flywheel was a key driver of the growth of the dominant social networks. But as those networks matured and massified, the utility of discovering travel experiences got lost in a barrage of topics. A16Z points to the exponential value of “Social+” companies which take a single category and build an integrated social experience around it. We believe the time for a “Social + Travel” platform is now.
Enter Legends; the social network for everyday explorers. We believe that Stephanie and Shaina have founded what could become the leading social + travel company. They are addressing questions that have long-needed answers: How can users discover, share, and book new travel experiences in an actionable, community-driven way? How can technology be leveraged to inform how travel helps us grow as individuals, and as a collective?
When we first met the Legends founders, we were impressed with their background, conviction, and the intentionality by which they lived their lives. We were, however, a bit skeptical. Would they be able to pull off the tech behind the “Traveler DNA” that they described as unique for every traveler. Their prototype made it evident that they could materialize their vision in truly innovative ways. We see their tech as foundational for connecting travelers to extraordinary experiences in the post-COVID world.
The NY-based team embodies the digital nomad lifestyle. Shaina even moved to Costa Rica while building the first prototype of Legends. The direct access to other active travelers has proven to be This NY-based team embodies the digital nomad lifestyle. Shaina moved to Costa Rica while building the first prototype for Legends. The direct access to other active travelers has proven to be key as they get closer to product-market fit. “Friends ask for recommendations and there is no easy way to share them. We’re all weary of lengthy emails, Whatsapp chains and spreadsheets. When recommendations from the most trusted source, friends, are not captured in an easy and actionable way, it exacerbates the frustration we feel when sifting through content from misaligned or biased sources.” Stephanie mentioned this in one of our many chats.
These methods also can’t capture the aspects of travel that help us evolve and grow. “The language, the culture, the landscape, the flavors, the local people… all these variables work together to make an experience unique to you and make up who we are as explorers.” What the Legends team calls your “Traveler DNA”. We think about traveling as episodic. In the new normal, travel is a way of life, part of our identity and social currency. The Legends “Traveler DNA” acts as the foundation for automated sharing and inspired discovery. The app instantly takes your previous travel experiences, and transforms them into a work of art. Like the traveler, the art transforms with every new trip.
By factoring in characteristics like climate, language, and other previously untrackable factors, this visual depiction gives you a richer, more accurate, and tangible representation of who you are and the variables that have shaped your life. The visual can be turned into an NFT the traveler can own and share.
From the user’s photos, Legends tech creates recommendations that can be saved and shared with friends. The Legends app’s Evolution Algorithm drives personalized discovery, enabling users to grow beyond what they’ve currently experienced. This makes Legends the first positive social network where your growth can be measured and shared. Each shared recommendation is actionable, so users can save and book them for their own journeys. Legends also gives back to the community, sharing a portion of their booking revenue with the original content creator.
The actionability of the recommendations, the empowerment given to the content creators via NFTs, and revenue shares could have interesting implications in the DeSo space. Their intuitive understanding that a proprietary social experience is key for the product to thrive, makes this a true and genuinely innovative Social+Travel platform.Legends is currently in invite-only beta prior to launch this Summer. Download the iOS version on the App Store here to join the waitlist and follow @livemylegend for updates.