Just founded in 2017, Bucharest-based startup Questo has developed a mobile city exploration game which is already present in 40 European cities.
Questo allows users to explore cities by solving clues in order to discover new places and stories about them. Each route (or “quest”) they explore is based on a specific theme, which can be inspired by a movie, a book, a historical fact, or even a legend. In London, for instance, users can explore the city as Sherlock Holmes or Isaac Newton, while in Paris they can play as Hemingway or Picasso.
The startup has just secured a seed round of funding from two private angel investors, bringing its valuation to $1.5 million. Questo plans to use the funding to expand to some of the largest cities in the world, including London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Barcelona.
“We aim to disrupt the +$120 billion market of tours and activities by offering travelers and locals a new fun way to explore a city through technology“, said Alex Govoreanu, CEO of Questo. “Our mobile app is at the crossroads of guided/walking tours and real-world games, such as Pokemon Go, and that makes it perfect for millennials and generation Zs, who are looking for fun, unique and authentic experiences“.
Last year, 35,000 people finished a quest while walking more than 100,000 kilometers to discover popular and hidden locations, as well as local stories. As of today, the app has over 100 available quests created by a growing network of local content creators. They can be purchased inside the Questo iOS and Android apps, on TripAdvisor and on GetYourGuide, for prices ranging from €8 to €20.
“Questo offers players the freedom to explore cities at their own pace and on their own terms,” added Govoreanu. “They can start and pause the game whenever they want to spend more time visiting an attraction they love, stop to eat at a local restaurant or just take a break. Also, our players appreciate the joy of exploring a city with a group of friends, instead of a having to join a group of 20–30 strangers during a classic guided tour.”
By the way: If you’re interested to join a fast-growing startup like Questo, make sure to check out the EU-Startups Job Board.