Romania-based tech startup Questo raises €300,000 to grow its platform of gamified tours fit for a post-COVID world
Questo, a Bucharest, Romania-based tech startup and a developer of the platform for city exploration games, has raised €300,000 to help travelers and locals explore destinations by going on tours in game form, called quests. The round was led by Sparking Capital with participation from Early Game Ventures, helping Questo expand into more cities through local storytellers and tour operators.
Founded in 2017 by Alexandru Govoreanu, Questo is the gamified travel app that helps tourists & locals discover cities using their smartphones. In 2019, more than 50.000 people played a city exploration game with Questo, while walking more than 200.000 kilometers. Currently, the price per game ranges from 10 to 20 Euros per group of up to 4 players.
With Questo, travelers and locals explore destinations by following clues and solving challenges in order to discover new places and stories. Today, the platform is available in 70 cities worldwide, and it’s growing rapidly. Every game can be purchased inside the Questo iOS and Android apps, from www.questoapp.com, and from partners such as TripAdvisor, GetYourGuide or Musement.
“We’re transforming city exploration into a fun game that’s safe to play on your own. For this, we partner with tour operators and storytellers from all around the world, who are creating their own games. Our model is so scalable that we could launch Questo in every city of the world. And we’ll probably do that.” says Alex Govoreanu, co-founder and CEO.
The Questo platform also comes as a solution for tour operators in a post-COVID world. The resulting gamified tours are safe to explore with, don’t require assistance from a guide, and can be played privately, therefore avoiding large groups. Also, the routes of the quests are designed to help users discover less popular places, while sharing amazing stories crafted by local storytellers.
“Cities are world’s best playgrounds, but for some reason, most of us are playing indoors. With Questo, we are on a mission to change this by working with tour operators and local storytellers worldwide, who are designing their own quests, each with a unique theme. Imagine exploring London as Sherlock Holmes, Paris as Picasso or Zurich as Einstein” adds Govoreanu.
The funding will be used to continue its partnerships with international tour operators and storytellers, and to further improve the technology to ensure a fun and equally safe city exploration experience for its users. By the end of 2020, Questo aims to become available in 100 cities.
“We are happy to announce a new investment in a talented founding team and an innovative product, which challenges the status-quo of the classic city travelling via a self-guided tour, delivered through an app. Responding to the needs of having an engaging, immersive, private and safe city exploration experience, consumers may explore with Questo app landmarks from all over the world, from Montmartre to Manhattan and from Secret Passage at Chimalistac in Mexico City to the Old Town and Temples of Bangkok”, said Vlad Panait, Co-Founder & General Partener Sparking Capital.