Travel booking platform GetYourGuide, which aims to help customers find unique, personalised holiday experiences, has announced the completion of a major Series-E investment round worth US$484 million.
The funding round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund and has bestowed ‘tech unicorn’ status upon the Germany-headquartered company. GetYourGuide has said that it plans to use the funding to expand its global personnel numbers from 500 to around 800 by the end of 2019.
Joining the investment round were co-investors Heartcore Capital, Korelya Capital, Lakestar and Temasek. Some other investors, such as Swisscanto Invest, which have previously invested in the company, also pledged further support.
As well as expanding its staff, GetYourGuide plans to channel the new capital into broadening the suite of experiences that it offers customers, enhancing and expanding its platform’s capabilities and hopefully reaching a larger global customer base.
“Today’s consumers prioritise seeking and sharing experiences over material possessions,” said Johannes Reck, CEO and Co-Founder of GetYourGuide. “In the SoftBank Vision Fund, we’ve found a partner that shares our bold mission and our long-term view of how this fundamental consumer shift will impact global travel. We’re incredibly excited about the journey ahead of us.”
Last year, GetYourGuide was recognised as a 2018 Most Innovative Company by Fast Company.
The appetite for an ‘experience’ when travelling – rather than the traditional trip – certainly seems to be on the increase. This more specific desire for activities and trips is expected to grow in value to around $183 billion by 2020 – and as previously reported in ITIJ, understanding these desires is key to success in this burgeoning market segment.