Online travel and booking startup GetYourGuide raises $484 million investment led by SoftBank
Boom! Another half a billion-dollar investment from SoftBank. Today, GetYourGuide, the online and booking platform startup that provides incredible travel experiences, announced it has raised $484 million in Series E financing led by the SoftBank Vision Fund. The financing round was joined by co-investors Temasek, Lakestar, Korelya Capital, and Heartcore Capital (formerly Sunstone Capital), which will be used to accelerate the development and expansion of its brand.
Original investors such as Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank continued their support of the company. In conjunction with the funding, GetYourGuide also announced that Ted Fike, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join its Board of Directors.
Founded in 2009 by Jochen Mattes, Johannes Reck, Martin Sieber, Pascal Mathis, Tao Tao, and Tobias Rein, the Berlin, Germany-based GetYourGuide is an online marketplace and internet booking engine for incredible travel experiences. Travelers use GetYourGuide to connect with the best things to do wherever they’re headed — including skip-the-line tickets to the world’s most iconic attractions, walking tours by top local experts, immersive food and beverage tours, cooking and craft classes, bucket-list experiences, and niche offerings you won’t find anywhere else.
Since its inception in 2009, travelers from over 170 countries have booked more than 25 million tours, activities, and attraction tickets through GetYourGuide. The startup has a global team of over 500 travel experts and technologists and offices in 14 countries around the world.
The global market for tours and activities is expected to reach $183 billion in 2020 and represents the fastest-growing major segment of the global tourism industry.1 To capture the market opportunity, GetYourGuide plans to invest the Series E funding in broadening its global inventory of experiences, deepening the capabilities of its platform to enhance the discovery and booking experience for users, and expanding and diversifying its marketing channels to reach millions of new travelers around the world.
“Today’s consumers prioritize seeking and sharing experiences over material possessions, and we expect this trend to accelerate in the years ahead,” said Johannes Reck, CEO, and co-founder of GetYourGuide. “We’ve spent the past decade building a market-leading company around our mission to give the whole world access to incredible travel experiences. In the SoftBank Vision Fund, we’ve found a partner that shares our bold mission and our long-term view of how this fundamental consumer shift will impact global travel. We’re incredibly excited about the journey ahead of us.”
The Series E financing comes at a time of significant growth and evolution for GetYourGuide, which has now sold over 25 million tickets to tours and activities through its platform. In the past year, GetYourGuide was recognized by Fast Company as a 2018 Most Innovative Company for expanding its mission to redefine the in-destination experience through its signature line of GetYourGuide Originals, exclusive branded products it has built from the ground up in partnership with top tour operators. Originals have sold over 40,000 tickets and have achieved 30 percent above average reviews from customers since launching in August 2018. In the year ahead, GetYourGuide anticipates continued expansion and innovation for Originals, with at least 25 new destinations and significant product enhancements slated for rollout.
Ted Fike, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers said, “Consumers, especially millennials, are spending an increasing portion of their disposable income on travel experiences. We believe GetYourGuide is leading this seismic shift by consolidating the fragmented global supply base of tour operators and modernizing access for travelers globally. This combination creates powerful network effects for their business that is fueling their strong growth. We are excited to partner with their passionate and talented leadership team.”