One of the bigger travel startups in Europe has allegedly bagged a significant round of funding. German blog Deutsche Startups is reporting that GetYourGuide, which lets tourists search for and book tours and other experiences in their destinations of choice from a catalog of some 35,000 activities, has raised €500 million from investors including SoftBank at a valuation of €1.6 billion ($558 million at a valuation of $1.78 billion at current dollar rates).
Prior to this, Sky in the UK (via tech.eu) reported that GetYourGuide was raising $300 million and that Singapore’s Temasek was also in the round, so that is another potential investor in the mix. If accurate, this latest Series E would be a big leap in funding for the company, which had raised $170 million up to now.
The deal would also be notable as the second big investment out of Europe for SoftBank within the space of a week. Days ago, the mega-investor — which has been taking a leading role in large growth rounds for startups globally through its $100 billion Vision Fund — put $1 billion (€900 million) into German payments provider Wirecard as part of a wider fintech partnership.
GetYourGuide was launched in 2009, and since then it has sold some 25 million tickets — a figure that speaks to a significant acceleration in its activities in the last two years. In 2017, when it last announced funding — a Series D of $75 million led by Battery Ventures — GetYourGuide had said it had passed 10 million tickets sold. (In 2017 it had 15 million active users; it’s not clear how many it has now.)
GetYouGuide’s advantage up to now has been is that activity booking is currently all that it does, making it less of an afterthought and more of the primary purpose of the platform. One key question is whether this new round of funding will now take it into new directions, or whether that focus will be enough for the next stage of growth.
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