Berlin startup GetYourGuide has raised $75 million for its travel booking platform

GetYourGuide CEO Johannes ReckGetYourGuideGetYourGuide CEO Johannes Reck.
  • GetYourGuide allows people to book tickets for tours, activities, and attractions around the world.
  • The investment round was led by US venture capital firm Battery Ventures.
  • It follows a $US50 million investment round in November 2015.

GetYourGuide, a Berlin-headquartered travel startup that allows people to book activities, meals, and tours in different countries, has raised $US75 million (£57 million) in a new funding round.

The investment, which follows a $US50 million (£38 million) round in November 2015, is one of the largest funding rounds ever raised by a Berlin startup, with music streaming company SoundCloud being a notable exception.

GetYourGuide CEO Johannes Reck told Business Insider that the funding will help GetYourGuide to remain independent, adding that he turns down multiple acquisition offers every year.

GetYourGuide wants to become a $US20 billion European tech giant

“Over the last two years, GetYourGuide’s management realised this is a $US150 billion (£112 billion) market. Not even a % of that is being transacted with online intermediaries today,” said Reck. “If we execute well this is a potential $US20 billion (£15 billion) company so we should not sell early. We have this unique opportunity as founders to be at the helm of one of the really meaningful European internet companies.”

GetYourGuide’s app and website allow people to book more than 31,000 tours, activities, and attractions in over 7,300 destinations. It’s possible to book a visit to Sydney Opera House, for example, or a cage diving experience in South Africa. More than 10 million tickets have been booked through he platform and nearly half of these were booked in 2017, the company said.

GetYourGuide takes a commission for every booking made over its platform. While Reck wasn’t willing to share the exact figure, he said it’s considerably more than 5-10%.

Most bookings are still made over the web but Reck said reduced roaming charges and a surge in hotel Wi-Fi is resulting in more mobile bookings.

The company, which competes with the likes of Viator and Airbnb in some respects, has around 400 staff across 11 offices worldwide, and those numbers are set to grow thanks to the new funding.

“We intend to staff up mostly in the technology and product department,” said Reck, adding that the company plans to improve its activity recommendation algorithm by investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The company’s largest market is Europe but it plans to use the funding expand deeper into the US and Asia. “We want to move away from being a very strong European player to being a global player,” said Reck.

GetYourGuide’s series D round was led by US venture capital firm Battery Ventures, which has also invested in companies like HotelTonight and Groupon, as well as enterprise software firm Splunk, and video conferencing company Blue Jeans. Other investors in the round included KKR, Spark Capital, Highland Europe, Sunstone Capital, and Nokia Growth Partners — all of which have invested before.

Itzik Parnafes a general partner at Battery Ventures will join the GetYourGuide board. “The company has already made significant progress in carving out a large and high-profile niche in the European travel market,” said Parnafes in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the Board to support its efforts to capitalise on what I think is a very exciting segment of global tourism.”

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