GetYourGuide Acquires Rival Activity Marketplace Gidsy

By David Knight |

GetYourGuide, the world’s largest platform for travelers to book tours and attractions, has acquired rival activity marketplace Gidsy. Terms of the deal haven’t been released, but the 12-strong Gidsy team will join GetYourGuide, and all Gidsy bookings up until April 30 will be honoured with the brand set to disappear.

Since its launch in Berlin in 2010, Gidsy, led by CEO Edial Dekker, has expanded into more than 140 cities across the world. It also helped raise the profile of Berlin’s tech scene after attracting interest from actor Ashton Kutcher. Dubbed a ‘stylish AirBnB for experiences’, users were persuaded to get off their sofas and find interesting things to do, from a cooking masterclass to an urban treasure hunt.

GetYourGuide was originally founded in Zurich in 2008 but now has its HQ in Berlin. It also announced a $14 million Series A investment led by Spark Capital and Highland Capital Partners Europe. The company has another office in Las Vegas and offers more than 19,000 activities in over 1,700 destinations worldwide. In addition, it boasts distribution partnerships with more than 1,000 online travel agencies, travel operators and media companies.

A statement on the Gidsy website on Wednesday said: “We’re thrilled to be joining forces with GetYourGuide to help connect travelers with unique experiences worldwide… We’ve known the awesome GetYourGuide team for some time now, and share a common vision, which is why we couldn’t be happier with this next big step.

“Our goals haven’t changed; we want to help anyone, anywhere to organize and find unique things to do. We want to foster connections between curious travelers and passionate locals. We believe the best things in life aren’t things, and we want to help change the way we all travel and experience the world.”

Dekker told Silicon Allee: “Can’t really say much about the reasons, except that it makes total sense for us both. We’ll be able to have a big impact in a space we know very well, and we like the GYG team a lot!”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Dekker will become head of mobile development at GetYourGuide, with his brother and fellow co-founder Floris to be the head of design. Edial told the newspaper: “We are moving the entire team over. Gidsy will no longer exist.”

GetYourGuide CEO Johannes Reck, meanwhile, told the Berliner Morgenpost: “We have known Gidsy for some time and in past have acted as consultant for them.” According to the newspaper, the common link between the two companies is serial angel investor Christophe Maire.

The price of the acquisition has not been revealed. “Unfortunately I can not say a number,” Reck added, “but for GetYourGuide, today is a very good day.”

The WSJ made the very good point – or rather, asked the very pertinent question – of why Gidsy, widely considered an attractive, up and coming and relatively successful startup, and one of Berlin’s poster child young tech companies, would sell so soon.

On the surface this doesn’t appear to be great news for Berlin – Gidsy is (was) one of the better-known of the city’s startups internationally. And as with any undisclosed deal, the rumours will soon start to fly about the numbers involved. But let’s wait to see what happens in the coming months.