GetYourGuide, the Berlin-based OTA who specializes in tours and activities, has raised $484M Series E investment and catapults its valuation past the $1billion mark.
GYG claim this is the highest ever funding round for a company in the tours/experiences sector which analysts claim will be a market worth $180 billion a year by 2020.
This follows the news in April that Hong Kong based Tours and Activities OTA Klook raised $225m through a Series D funding round.
How will GetYourGuide use their investment to increase tour and activities bookings?
GetYourGuide CEO Johannes Reck says some of the company’s immediate priorities include aggressive expansion into the Americas and Asia, taking their successful blueprint of selling tours, activities, and attractions in Europe into new international markets.
GetYourGuide will use their newly acquired war chest of cash to push ahead with its “GetYourGuide Originals” product that launched in August 2018 in Rome, Paris, and London.
Reck says to date more than 30,000 Originals tickets have been sold, and now they will begin rolling out the program to 25 major metropolitan cities around the world.
GetYourGuide will also look to expand the breadth of its offerings.
What could the GetYourGuide investment round mean for Tour Operators?
Overall, competition is usually a good thing in the OTA tours space. The investment could lead to more marketing dollars being spent by GYG in the major destinations and in cities outside of NYC, LA, and San Francisco.
I am sure Google are rubbing their hands as GYG will likely spend even more amounts of cash on Google Ads as they seek to wrest the number 1 spot from Tripadvisor.
Undoubtedly this will lead to more revenue for tour operators and attractions but only to those who listen to their OTA account managers and build a solid relationship with them. These OTAs sit on a lot of data and are focused on increasing conversions so it is essential to work closely with them if we want a slice of the OTA pie.
If you have not worked with an OTA previously you need to ensure you are baking their commission charges into your pricing, the extra business is great but don’t let it reduce your profitability on your tours/experiences.
Why GYG Originals may prove challenging for some Tour Operators
The concern some tour businesses have though centers around the GYG Originals initiative.
What happens to those tourpreneurs whose businesses are not selected to work with GetYourGuide flagship tours and activities?
I heard from several tourpreneurs following Tao Tao‘s Ask Me Anything session at Arival Berlin who admitted they were nervous about losing revenue and market share to the tour operators in their city picked by GYG to be their GYG Original.
Now it appears GetYourGuide are keen to roll this out in more cities which poses an even bigger threat to tour operators.
What does this development mean for the OTA sector in tours and activities?
There are several thoughts here, the first is who can now afford to buy GetYourGuide? Just a few years ago, the big OTAs were sniffing around them and many industry analysts expected GetYourGuide to be snapped up similar to the Viator acquisition by Tripadvisor.
Booking decided to go it alone and have since launched Booking Experiences.
It is now likely that GYG will have to go the IPO route. Or they could buy another tours and activities OTA such as Klook, Tiqets, TourRadar and become a super OTA in their own right.
Interesting times ahead and we will do our best at Tourpreneur to bring you all the discussion, debate and news so you can stay informed. On that note, make sure you get all the tours and activities news in your inbox every weekday. I curate the news in our industry so you are always in the know on what is happening.
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More GetYourGuide investment news reports.
GetYourGuide Raises $484 Million From Consortium Led by the SoftBank Vision Fund – Offical GYG Press Release.
GetYourGuide Nabs $484M Series E Round – Phocuswire.
GetYourGuide picks up $484m, passes $25m sold through its tourism activity app. TechCrunch
GetYourGuide’s New $484 Million Infusion May Force Consolidation in Travel Experiences – Skift
SoftBank Leads Funding Round for Berlin Travel Startup GetYourGuide -New York Times
SoftBank leads $484 million investment in online travel start-up GetYourGuide – CNBC
GetYourGuide Joins Berlin’s Unicorn Club After $500 Million Investment From SoftBank – Forbes
SoftBank leads funding round for Berlin travel startup GetYourGuide – Reuters.
GetYourGuide Raises $484 Million From Consortium Led by the SoftBank Vision Fund. Yahoo Finance.
SoftBank Leads $484 Million Investment in Germany’s GetYourGuide – Bloomberg
Full Disclosure – Tourpreneur’s Shane Whaley worked for GetYourGuide as Regional Director, Americas from 2016-2018