We’re in for a busy year if this is a sign of things to come – GetYourGuide has announced a $14m (€10.7m) Series A round led by Spark Capital and Highland Capital Partners Europe. The Zurich-based startup, which has been expanding its presence in Berlin recently, provides a platform for tourists to book tours, attractions and activities, and claims to be the world’s largest.
The money raised – which it says is one of the largest Series A investments ever clinched by a European tech startup from major funds in the US and Europe – will be used to accelerate growth in new markets.
Launched in 2010, GetYourGuide – which also has an office in Las Vegas – offers more than 16,900 activities in 1,680 destinations worldwide. And there is no doubt the market is an attractive one – with a global market size of $100 billion, the travel activities space is twice as large as the car rental and cruise industries combined, according to a 2011 report from travel research firm PhocusWright.
In addition to the booking platform, GetYourGuide also has distribution partnerships with more than 1,000 online travel agencies, travel operators and media companies, including TripAdvisor and Kayak.
CEO Johannes Reck said: “Having brought such great investors on board will help us upscale our offering worldwide and fuel our consumer traction. We are well on our way to creating one of the most successful online travel companies.”
Spark Capital can list Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare amongst its portfolio companies, and general partner Alex Finkelstein, who joining the GetYourGuide board of directors as part of the deal, said: “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.”
News of the investment comes on the same day it was revealed that Rocket Internet’s Web payments platform Paymill had secured €10 million from Holtzbrick Ventures and Sunstone Capital.