New year, new cash injections – we’re only one week into 2013 and there’s already news pouring in of companies claiming tasty new funding rounds. First up, Berlin-based tour- and activity-booking company, GetYourGuide, has just announced an impressive $14million Series A round from Spark Capital and Highland Capital Partners Europe. The cash boost will be used to expand its offering and forge ahead in new markets.
GetYourGuide, founded in 2010, has grown quietly and steadily to to a 50-employee operation from its new offices in Prenzlauer Berg’s Goldpunkt-Haus, as well as having supplementary bases in Zurich and Las Vegas. It now offers over 16,900 tours and activities for visitors to 1,680 destinations worldwide, and has brokered deals with over 1,000 travel agencies including TripAdvisor and Kayak.
Tumblr, Twitter, Foursquare and now GetYourGuide
“I spent 5-6 months fundraising in the US last year” says CEO and co-founder Johannes Reck. “We had a few term sheets on the table, but in the end, I’m thrilled that we got investors with such a seasoned approach – Spark has previously invested in Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare – that doesn’t happen without a reason.”
As part of the deal, GetYourGuide will gain two new directors. Spark Capital GP Alex Finkelstein will join the board, as will Highland Capital Partners Europe’s General Partner Fergal Mullen.
Reck explained to VentureVillage why this does not trouble him: “We were comfortable with this decision – US Venture companies are very much CEO-driven. When any big decisions have to made, they look to us and say ‘Do what you wanna do’. For them, it’s putting money in, backing off but trying to help. I did a lot of due diligence on this to make sure that we got investors with a focus on a strong management team.”
“We’ll be using the money to expand into new markets”, says Reck. “Definitely the US and UK, but also more European territories and emerging markets. We are well on our way to creating one of the most successful online travel companies.”
“The market potential for GetYourGuide is enormous. The founders have already proven that they are exceptional entrepreneurs who are able to create a game-changing company in the online travel market. With this new round of funding, GetYourGuide will be able to accelerate its already rapid growth worldwide,” Finkelstein added in a press statement.
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Image credit: flickr user Josemanuelerre