Kolu (company)

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oooh, orphan


Kolu, Inc.[1] is a mobile tourism[2][3] technology company.[4][5] It is based in Columbia, Missouri and develops, markets, and operates the Kolu guided tour mobile app[6] in the Greater New York Area. Though currently based in Columbia, the company has plans to establish a headquarters in New York City, New York[7] in June 2018.


The name “Kolu” is derived from the Hawaiian word for the number “three.”[8][9]


Kolu was originally named The Global Hiker. It was co-founded by Alex Winkler, Riley de Leon, Emily Johnson, and Logan Muzzey in September 2015. Winkler, who studied at the University of Missouri, came up with the idea based on the success of Uber and Airbnb. Johnson, who studied at the Missouri School of Journalism, had a similar idea. Together, they created a prototype of The Global Hiker, and brought in de Leon and Muzzey to help build and market it.

In June 2017, the company changed its name to Kolu. The first web and mobile applications were officially launched July 31, 2017.

Several months later, the company made plans to formally establish the company headquarters in New York in June 2018.


Kolu utilizes Stripe, SafeTrek, and Checkr to process payments and provide and maintain security.

How it works

Kolu uses an algorithm to match travelers with locals from their destination who can guide them through the area.[10] Upon each booking, travelers pay the local guide's hourly rate for the number of hours a local tour is requested for. Guides set their own schedule and rates.

Currently, Kolu can only be accessed via iOS and Android mobile devices.

Official release

The Kolu iOS application will officially become available in the App Store on January 22, 2018.


  1. "Columbia business Kolu to launch travel app in time for eclipse." (in en). http://www.komu.com/mobile/story.cfm?id=88235-columbia-business-kolu-to-launch-travel-app-in-time-for-eclipse. 
  2. Favignano, Megan. "New travel app launches beta service in Columbia this month" (in en). Columbia Daily Tribune. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/20170714/new-travel-app-launches-beta-service-in-columbia-this-month. 
  3. "Working at Kolu" (in en). https://www.glassdoor.com/Overview/Working-at-Kolu-EI_IE1804717.11,15.htm. 
  4. Team, Business Matters. "Business Matters: Questions for a Boss -- Alex Winkler, CEO, Kolu" (in en). Columbia Daily Tribune. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/20171024/business-matters-questions-for-boss----alex-winkler-ceo-kolu. 
  5. "Five Questions with a Startup CEO: Alex Winkler of Kolu" (in en-US). St. Louis, MO Patch. 2017-10-23. https://patch.com/missouri/stlouis/five-questions-startup-ceo-alex-winkler-kolu. 
  6. "Kolu". https://angel.co/kolu. 
  7. "Kolu" (in en). Digital.NYC. 2017-11-18. http://www.digital.nyc/startups/kolu. 
  8. "HAWAIIAN NUMBERS". http://www.mauimapp.com/moolelo/hwnnmbrs.htm. 
  9. Pukui, Mary Kawena; Elbert, Samuel H. (1986) (in en). Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824807030. https://books.google.com/books?id=bHdRhjL9Y9EC&pg=PA87&lpg=PA87&dq=kolu+company&source=bl&ots=byA65aGHP_&sig=BtxrjPdLZNjYPFDOR2a7hkoZUXo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZkMf-mabYAhVWyYMKHXMvBSoQ6AEIVDAN#v=onepage&q=kolu%20company&f=false. 
  10. "Kolu". https://gust.com/companies/koluapp. 

External links

Official Website