(June 27, 2023)  School is out and the summer is here, which means summer destination vacations are in full swing. As a border state, many Arizonians commonly choose Mexico as their vacation of choice, including brothers Robert and Brian Krupski, Fountain Hills residents and co-founders of GrinGO, the digital concierge mobile application providing travel, safety and tourism services for U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling to Mexico.

Free and available on the Apple and Google Play app stores, GrinGO’s purpose is to be a global distribution system of travel and safety resources that minimizes risk and creates a positive experience abroad.

During its initial round of funding, GrinGO raised $200,000 through friends and family. Now in its second round of funding, GrinGO has a valuation cap of $10 million and is currently raising $2.5 million with Goals of expanding its team, growing the app and aggressively marketing on a national level to hit its first one million users in the next 12 months.

“Our mission is really to create a borderless travel experience so when you travel to Mexico and something were to happen, you have access to the right resources,” Brian said, GrinGO’s CEO.

The idea for GrinGO was born when Brian began working for former Arizona Governors Jane Dee Hull and Janet Napolitano as a staff advisor for Mexico Affairs in the Arizona Mexico Commission (AMC). Tasked with tackling issues on transportation, education, finance and economic development, Brian gained a deep understanding of problems driving cross-border concerns, one being automobile insurance.

“The need for a reputable website for Mexico auto insurance was great,” Brian said. “I turned to Rob and said, ‘Hey Rob, there’s a great opportunity that we can create to build one of the nicest looking websites.”

As a former director of IT for Motorola and CTO of GrinGO, Robert went to work, and with a license to sell automobile insurance in hand, the two brothers opened their business.

Lego blocks

With the rise of mobile applications in the early 2000s, Brian’s and Robert’s insurance business shifted from a website into a mobile app that offered helpful resources for Mexico travelers like Mexico auto insurance, roadside assistance, safety precautions, border wait times and even a built-in language translator.

“As we started building the app, we were still able to adjust and continue to add on like Lego blocks,” Brian said. “More doors opened for us, and one of those doors was with a company called Amadeus.”

Amadeus is a major GDS system for the global travel and tourism industry which accepted GrinGO into its startup program and expanded the app to include a tourism feature.

Tourism rebound

While Brian and Robert focused on expanding, tourism around the world abruptly stopped in March 2020. With the COVID-19 Pandemic closing borders around the world, GrinGO’s future was put on hold and the brothers took time to reset.

“During COVID, we realized the governments had difficulty communicating with foreign visitors, communicating protocols and health advisories. So, we started to build out a communication system,” Brian said.

As the Mexican Government began to reactivate its tourism, Brian and Robert partnered with the U.S. Consulates in Mexico to use GrinGO’s newly developed communication infrastructure to send travel advisories to app users in their area.

With tourism rebounding, GrinGO also launched its destination marketing unit which promoted various Mexico destinations and outdoor adventures and helped users explore Mexico’s unique gastronomy scene.

What’s in a name?

At its start, GrinGO started with more “government sounding” names, Brian said. Names like MexAssist and MexVisit were finalists for the app. One day, while scrolling through his Roku, Brian saw, “Discovery GO” on the Roku home screen.

“I started to see this ‘GO,’ all over the place and I’m like, ‘That’s pretty cool,’” he said.

Once again, Brian turned to his web-savvy brother and asked him to create a logo around the word, “gringo.” With its historically derogatory connotation, the brothers called their business partners at the Mexico Consulate in Phoenix and asked if they would endorse the new name. After receiving multiple endorsements and approving it with their trademark attorney, Brian turned to Robert and said, “It’s a go!”

Now with the ability to book a hotel in Mexico and conduct an international money transfer, GrinGO has become an all-around travel app for anyone visiting the many cities within Mexico.

“From a small-town community to a cross-border community,” Brian added. “It all started here in Fountain Hills.”

GrinGO: Fountain Hills locals create travel safety app | Fountain Hills Times (

By Cyrus Guccione