It’s Time For The Next Dimension in Online Travel

Johannes Reck
Nov 2, 2017 · 3 min read

Today, we are announcing a $75M Series D funding round led by Battery Ventures, one of the most renowned venture capital firms in the world, and joined by all of our existing venture partners. It’s a very significant milestone for GetYourGuide: the investment we’ve raised is one of the largest ever for a European consumer internet business, as well as in the history of online travel. More importantly, it moves the travel activities market into the spotlight of the broader travel industry.

Our success is built on providing better travel experiences

Since our Series C funding in 2015, we have grown GetYourGuide at an incredible pace, serving millions of customers. When you are growing at such a rate, it’s very easy to get stuck in optimising operating metrics, and lose track of the reasons why customers are coming in the first place. We have tried to resist that temptation by spending time visiting attractions and going on sightseeing tours. We have all pitched in countless hours in the Customer Service Center, and invited many of our most loyal fans to test new versions of our product. In essence, we have tried to get closer to our customers.

It’s showing in our numbers: GetYourGuide’s customer satisfaction has grown by more than 50% over the past 2 years. Our customers rate us as the most critical piece of their trip, often citing the quality of our offering as the most important reason for booking travel. Also, they remember our brand long after they’ve forgotten the airline or the hotel room they stayed in.

Creating memories of a lifetime

For many customers, we have helped to create memories of a lifetime: I’ve watched a GetYourGuide customer propose to his girlfriend on a Catamaran sunset cruise in the San Francisco Bay. Touring Jerusalem on Shabbat and wandering through the ancient city of Petra with my family this year, we created memories of our own that will stay with us forever. When we serve these kinds of experiences, GetYourGuide forms a much stronger bond with the traveler than any transactional platform selling hotel rooms or airline tickets ever could. We become the trusted travel companion that helps you turn your trip into an amazing experience.

Memories of a Lifetime: Visiting the Treasury in Petra

One critical learning we’ve made is that serving a high-quality offering to a global audience requires excellent operations, technology and lots of scale. For this reason, moving forward, we will continue to invest significant resources toward international expansion and enhancing our technology. Our goal is to provide travelers with the most relevant and personalised activities— no matter whether they’re planning for next year or just woke up in their hotel room and are getting inspired for the day ahead.

Starting a new chapter in online travel

Today marks the end of an era. For 20 years, the travel industry was fully focussed on selling airfare and accommodation online. Massive companies have been built around helping travelers cut through the online clutter of how to get to a destination and where to stay. There has been so much optimisation of the booking funnel that it feels as if booking travel has become a mechanical necessity rather than an inspirational purchase.

In the next decade, I firmly believe that we’ll move into an entirely new world. Having a dialogue with travelers about what they actually want to see and experience will become the most meaningful part of booking a trip. We will listen and learn from each customer and will build a supply offering around their needs, instead of force feeding them the status quo. I am extremely excited that GetYourGuide holds the key to opening the door to this new world in its hands: a massive inventory of unique travel activities and a global customer audience.

Now it’s purely up to us to turn this vision into a reality that will change the way we travel for generations to come.

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