The company says the Series A investment round will be used help with “rapid growth” into new markets.
The level of investment in GYG signifies the major interest in the tours and activities segment of the industry. Previous high rounds included $7 million into US-based Zozi in May 2011.
Despite attracting $2 million from PROfounders Capital, Andy Phillipps (founder of Active Hotels) and Karen Hanton (founder of TopTable) in March 2012,¬†Europe-based GYG has been active on the capital raising circuit since late last year.
This period coincided with Expedia’s major push in to both B2C and B2B areas of a sector estimated be worth in the region of $100 billion annually.
The Expedia announcement was followed just a week later with tour giant Gray Line inking a deal with UK-based TourCMS to provide real-time availability and booking.
The company’s current largest markets are Germany, Switzerland and Austria, accounting for around 60% of the business, and the US and UK bringing in roughly 35%.
CEO Johannes Reck says:
“We‚Äôre extremely pleased to have two of the most renowned venture firms investing in our company and supporting our business model and vision.
“Having brought such great investors on board will help us up-scale our offering worldwide and fuel our consumer traction. We are well on our way to creating one of the most successful online travel companies.”
General partners at Spark and Highland, Alex Finkelstein and Fergal Mullen respectively, will be joining the board of directors at GYG as a result of the investment round.
The company first appeared on the scene in early-2010 as a competitor to the likes of Viator and Isango in the OTA model for selling tours and activities.