Journal Lab, a Rotterdam-based digital platform that allows travelers to document their journeys in photo-rich diaries at no cost, has revealed the successful acquisition of €1.2 million in funding.
Nonetheless, the identity of the investor remains undisclosed.
Alongside this funding news, the Dutch company has unveiled a rebranding initiative, introducing itself as Journal Lab. Reflecting on this transformation, Veerle Witte, the founder and CEO of Journal Lab, remarks, “We will now operate under a new moniker, Journal Lab, encompassing our existing brands, Travel Diaries and Baby Diaries.
This shift signifies our evolution beyond being solely a travel journal app. We are now a tech startup specializing in journal software, with aspirations to develop the finest and most extensive journal applications globally, capable of creating an array of book formats.”
The company intends to use the funding to advance the development and expedite the expansion of its current applications in the market.
Moreover, it has plans to broaden its portfolio by introducing fresh applications, which will encompass an app for crafting, sharing, and printing personal cookbooks, as well as a versatile journaling app.
Journal Lab: Empowering the Creation of Stunning Journals
In 2014, Veerle Witte, a Dutch travel journalist renowned for her contributions to publications like National Geographic Traveler, founded Journal Lab, formerly known as Travel Diaries. Her motivation for launching this service stemmed from her four-month expedition to South America a few years earlier.
During her immersive journey, Veerle aspired to create an online diary encompassing articles, maps, and photographs, but she couldn’t find a platform that seamlessly combined these elements with a touch of creativity. After extensive tinkering and development efforts, Veerle introduced Travel Diaries, a platform that empowers users to craft and personalize their diaries through an online editor. It offers a lifelike, book-like interface, allowing users to integrate narratives, images, and maps.
With a variety of layout and style options at their disposal, users can tailor their diaries to align with their individual preferences. In 2014, Travel Diaries boasted 120,000 users. Currently, the company boasts 2,500 paying users, with a remarkable 70 percent renewing their subscriptions annually. Nearly half of the subscribers opt for a printed book, as reported by Quotenet.nl.
The company has set its sights on English-speaking markets such as the United States and Australia. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a reevaluation of Travel Diaries’ revenue model. Faced with a decline in turnover, Witte seized the opportunity to enhance the product and introduce three distinct subscription tiers.
The most budget-friendly option charges €0.99 per month after a potential 30-day trial period. Subscribers desiring PDF downloads or discounted pre-orders of printed books pay €3 to €5 per month. During this transformative period, the platform expanded its horizons to encompass Baby Diaries, a feature designed to capture the highs and lows of the journey through pregnancy and early parenthood. Plans for sharing and printing recipe books, as well as the development of a general diary app, are also underway, as reported by Quotenet.nl.