Most of us who love traveling and going on road trips would know the need to have basic knowledge about the place one is traveling to. Learning about history, heritage, culture, and famous tourist spots on the go is a must-have travel essential. However, the cumbersome process of looking up everything on the web is not just time-consuming, but it really takes out the fun of the road trip. Entrepreneurs Woody Sears, Bill Werlin, and actor Kevin Costner came up with the idea of an app that would provide all the information about a place in the US one is traveling to for people to enjoy on the go.
Originally called HearHere, Autio is a travel storytelling app where a traveler gets information about the history and culture of different places to which they are traveling. The entrepreneurs presented their unique product on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ season 14 episode 17, hoping to get the Sharks on board with their idea to gain substantial investment to further sales. Now that we have your undivided attention about the app, let’s trace the company’s growth and find out where they are at present, shall we?
Autio: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
The app was originally called HearHere and was founded in 2020 by entrepreneurs Woody Sears, Bill Werlin, and actor Kevin Costner. In 2022, the company was rebranded to Autio. Woody Sears completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Economics from the University of Colorado Boulder. He went on to earn his MBA in Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University. He is also an alumnus of the Accelerator Program from Yellow. Shortly after finishing his MBA, Woody started his career as an Account Manager at AT & T.
Fans of the show must be familiar with the third co-founder, the famous Oscar-winning actor Kevin Costner. He has made appearances in popular films over the years. Some of his best works include ‘The Postman,’ ‘Dances with Wolves,’ ‘The Bodyguard,’ ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ and others. The entrepreneurs started the company to simply tell the hidden stories of the place one is traveling to. Each story is not only informative but fun and insightful that gives the users a full description of the place in the best form of narrative.
Where is Autio Now?
Based in Santa Barbara, California, Autio is a storytelling app that tells the story of various places in the United States to the traveler. More than 10,399 stories from coast to coast of the nation are available in this app. Via the app, the user will be able to explore the local area’s stories. Master storytellers such as Kevin Costner, Phil Jackson, and John Lithgow have recounted all of the stories in this app. Every single story in Autio is centered on the local area’s culture, history, insights, music, marvels of nature, and sports.
Users can listen to five stories for free after downloading this app, but after that, you’ll need to purchase a 30-day, 1-year, or 3-year subscription. Stories may also be downloaded and listened to offline in this mode. More than 500k individuals have downloaded the Autio app on iPhones. The android version of the app is still in the making and will be launched soon. The company is also working towards the representation of communities by partnering with a non-profit storytelling organization called The Moth, which tells stories of under-represented communities and groups.
One dollar from each download (paid subscription) made by the company goes towards The Moth. Annual membership costs $36, enabling you to enter the world of unlimited stories and unlimited downloads that you can enjoy from anywhere in the world. If you are a member of the RV Organization, Good Sam, you get a discounted rate of $19.99 per year. We hope the app launches its android version soon, so everyone can hear stories from across the world.
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