GetYourGuide, an online travel and booking startup, raises $194M in funding to accelerate global expansion
Boom! GetYourGuide, a SoftBank-backed online travel and booking startup, has closed a massive $194 million in Series F funding despite the ongoing funding slowdown.
The round, which comes in the form of equity and credit financing, was led by Blue Pool Capital, with participation from KKR and Temasek. UniCredit led the Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) of $109 million, with participation from BNP Paribas, Citi, and KfW. GetYourGuide will use the new cash infusion to solidify its position as the leader in the $300 billion travel experiences market.
With generative AI tools like ChatGPT taking the world by storm, GetYourGuide also plans to utilize the funding to accelerate its innovative efforts for travelers and supply partners. By harnessing the rapid advancements in AI and Large Language Models (LLMs), they aim to enhance their services and provide even better experiences to their customers.
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.
“In the current market, we view this as a vote of confidence from our investors who believe passionately in unlocking unforgettable experiences for travelers around the globe,” said Johannes Reck, CEO and co-founder of GetYourGuide. “We are still early in the transformation of our category and the larger $300 billion category and the even larger $1.5 trillion experiences market. And our technology is poised to help drive innovation and growth for our partners and customers alike,” Reck added.
Over the years, the spending habits of consumers have been shifting towards experiences rather than traditional retail goods. GetYourGuide’s data validates this ongoing trend, as their booking volumes in the first quarter of 2023 have quadrupled compared to the same period in 2019. The travel experiences category is rapidly expanding, fueled by a change in consumer spending habits across generations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, American consumers have been increasing their expenditure on experiences at a rate twice as fast as their spending on goods from 2000 to 2019.
“There is immense opportunity in the digitization of the experiences industry, and we believe GetYourGuide’s global leadership and market-leading customer-centricity in the category stems from its deep expertise in this complex space,” said Oliver Weisberg, CEO of Blue Pool Capital. “We believe GetYourGuide is uniquely positioned to be the global leader in the category; we are pleased to lead the equity financing given the strength of the business,” added Weisberg.
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 surpass the current $350 billion by 2025 and represents the fastest-growing major segment of the global tourism industry To capture the market opportunity, GetYourGuide plans to invest the Series F 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.