5 years ago

GetYourGuide raises $14M for tours and activities push in new markets

In what could be one of the biggest investments so far in the growing online tours and activities sector, GetYourGuide has grabbed $14 million from Spark Capital and Highland Capital Partners Europe.

The company says the Series A investment round will be used help with “rapid growth” into new markets.

Spark has previous invested in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Akamai, while Highland’s portfolio includes Lycos, MapQuest and VistaPrint.

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.

Travelport also ramped up its tours and activities offering using partnerships with Flextrip and AdventureLink.

GYG boasts around 17,000 activities in close to 1,700 destinations around the world and has close to 1,000 affiliate deals with the likes of TripAdvisor and Kayak.

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’re 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.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



  1. Matt Zito

    Congrats Johannes and GYG team on your Series A round. More proof that the Local Tour & Activity segment is a big opportunity within the global travel industry.

  2. Tony Carne

    Congrats to all the team at GYG. Onwards and upwards!

  3. Josh Steinitz

    congrats to the team for lining up the capital to make a big play at a big market

  4. Alex Kremer

    Congrats Johannes, Tao and team. Putting a huge round together from top tier investors not only shows GYG’s great work but validates the market as a whole even more. Looking forward to T&A in 2013!

  5. Jermain

    Why do the need another round of funding that fast? Why not just expanding via cashflow?

    Or is it just a matter of keeping the ‘burn rate’ high?

    • Johannes

      Hi Jermain,

      we actually raised the last round in Mid-2011, but didn’t announce it until ITB Berlin in 2012. So in fact, it’s been more than 18 months, which is quite normal for a fast growing e-commerce start-up in the early stages. You can rest assured that GetYourGuide’s culture is not to burn money, but to deliver a great product for consumers and growing a sustainable company.

      Best, Johannes


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