The travel sector is really taking off.
About 24 hours after we said Hostaway’s $175 million raise was a rarity, Germany-based travel startup GetYourGuide announced it raised $194 million in a mix of equity and debt, raising its valuation to $2 billion according to CNBC.
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Of that funding, $85 million comes from a Series F round led by Blue Pool Capital with additional participation from KKR and Temasek Holdings. The other $109 million in revolving credit was led by UniCredit, with participation from Citibank, BNP Paribas and KfW.
Tourism startups get some love again
The tourism industry is only just starting to bounce back from the pandemic. While many countries ended or relaxed stay-at-home orders in 2021, the Omicron variant and strict safety protocols made it difficult to travel. According to Crunchbase data, the travel and tourism startup sector garnered a mere $5.9 billion in venture funding in 2022, around $100 million more than what was invested in the sector back in 2016.
With the latest raise, GetYourGuide’s valuation increases 43% from $1.4 billion to $2 billion. It’s one of the few large valuation raises among unicorn startups we’ve seen lately — many large startups have been forced to raise new funding at lower valuations in the past two years, a sign that tech startups were incredibly overvalued during the hype cycle in 2021.
GetYourGuide sells travel experiences, like niche guided wine tours with sommeliers, art gallery walks with experts, and glacier hikes in icy regions. The tours are provided by third-party companies, sometimes local ones, and GetYourGuide gets a commission for every experience it sells on the platform.
The company is also working on creating original travel experiences, such as meeting the keyholder to the Vatican and doing a walking tour with him.
The travel guide startup is also integrating generative AI into its platform through language learning models, which can create colorful descriptions for the different classes and tours. These models, popularized by ChatGPT, have become a popular adoption tool for startups across different industries.
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Illustration: Dom Guzman
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