After rumours circulated earlier this month, the Berlin-based booking platform for unique travel experiences GetYourGuide has confirmed a gigantic €433 million Series E financing round, elevating the startup’s valuation to above $1 billion and making it Europe’s latest unicorn.
We interviewed GetYourGuide’s co-founder and CEO Johannes Reck back in December (where you can read more about GetYourGuide’s journey) and covered its $75 million Series D round in 2017, but we never expected a half-billion euro mega-round – the largest funding round raised for a travel tech startup to date.
The round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from Temasek, Lakestar, Korelya Capital and Heartcore Capital (formerly Sunstone Capital), along with original investors including Swisscanto Invest. As part of the investment, Ted Fike, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join GetYourGuide’s Board of Directors.
The now-unicorn has so far sold more than 25 million tickets through its platform, offering a collection of over 31,000 things to do in 7,500 destinations across the globe through its platform and app. Customers can book fully-refundable tickets through its site in 19 different languages, in 40 currencies, and with 24/7 multilingual customer service.
The global market for tours and activities is expected to reach $183 billion in 2020. To capture this 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 Reck. “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.”
GetYourGuide has expanded its mission over the past year 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% 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.
“Consumers, especially millennials, are spending an increasing portion of their disposable income on travel experiences,” said Ted Fike, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We believe GetYourGuide is leading this seismic shift by consolidating the fragmented global supply base of tour operators and modernising 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.”