GetYourGuide – Travel activities booking platform announces $75M Series D

GetYourGuide is announcing a $75M Series D, led by Battery Ventures bringing its total raised to $170 Million.  They claim to be the world’s largest online platform for booking tours, attractions and activities.

They are mainly focused on European markets – as most of their travel destinations are in Europe ( and also most of their customers are from Germany and the United Kingdom). They are seeing some traction here in United States.

GetYourGuide was founded in 2009 by Tobias Rein, Martin Sieber, Johannes Reck and Tao.

Investor Info :    Battery Ventures is a technology focused Investment firm ( with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts ) , founded in 1983 by Rick Frisbie, Howard Anderson & Bob Barrett.  It has total assets of 5.8 Billion USD and over 60 employees. ( as a side note, another travel tech company, which raised $39 Million USD from Battery ventures, Red point and others, was acquired by Ctrip – the Chinese travel giant)

Some of the most popular tours on GetYourGuide is –

London Harry Potter Tours
Reykjavik Day Trips
Reykjavik Tours
Chicago Cruises & Water Tours
New York Cruises & Water Tours
Reykjavik Dolphin & Whalewatching Tours
Dubai Desert Safaris
Husavik Dolphin & Whalewatching Tours
Rome Tickets
Chicago River & Harbor Cruises
San Francisco Cruises & Water Tours
Paris Tickets
Dubai Air & Helicopter Tours
Edinburgh Ghost & Vampire Tours
Amsterdam Cruises & Water Tours
Victoria Dolphin & Whalewatching Tours
Dubai Camel Riding Tours
Boston Cruises & Water Tours
Chicago Architecture Tours
Krakow Tours
Venice Gondola tours
Rome City Cards
Florence Wine Tasting & Winery Tours
Reykjavik Northern Lights
Cairns Snorkeling
Barcelona Tickets
Chicago City Cards
Las Vegas Air & Helicopter Tours
Bordeaux Wine Tasting & Winery Tours
Paris Hop-on Hop-off Tours

Travel metasearch company Skyscanner buys Twizoo

Travel metasearch company Skyscanner ( online comparison platform for flights, hotels and car rental) has bought the London based startup Twizoo ( Founded in May 2013 by Madeline Parra and John Talbott).
Twizoo specializes in development of a platform for automating social content distribution.

Skyscanner’s CTO Bryan mentioned that the company’s aim is to “serve all traveler needs, from inspiration through to planning and booking”.

Cuba – New frontier for travel companies

Now that Cuba is opening up for American travelers (almost !), the travel industry is planning a major expansion to cater to a large number of tourists visiting the island. Airlines, Cruise lines and agents are getting ready to handle visitors under the new rules which allow “purposeful” trips like humanatarian or educational missions. However most agencies are preparing for the open travel, which they beleive would be in the near future.

Carnival cruises said in a statement that it will begin cruises to the island next May for cultural exchanges.

Cuba already ranks as the second-largest tourist destination in the Caribbean and could become the number one if American travel is completely opened up. As per most estimates, Americans already account for one in six of Cuba’s 3 million visitors (Mostly Cuban-Americans visiting family). Once the travel policies/regulations are cleared, that number is expected to increase by 1.5 to 2 million.

Contingent on Cuban government approval, Carnival plans weeklong trips from Miami every other week starting in May on a 710-passenger ship ( fathom) which specializes in “social-impact travel” such as volunteering & cultural exchange.

Vacation rental search engine startup funded 16 million has received 16 Million investment from multiple investors including Steadfast Venture Capital and Enspire Capital. Enspire is based out of Singapore. Tripping can be considered as a vacation rental search engine, which operates through partnership with other booking websites like hipmunk, goseek, tripadvisor etc. Unlike Airbnb, Tripping’s role is limited to searching for a great deal; it doesn’t get involved in rental management.Those arrangments are handled by it’s partners on a commission basis.

CEO Jen O’Neal describes the company as “the first vacation rental search engine” working in partnership with worldwide agencies and has the entire range from budget rentals to luxury mansions.

Tripping has over five million listings in over 100,000 cities. The search filters are comprehensive – so it’s easy to narrow down on a property based on location, rates, amenities like Wifi, AC etc.

As of July 2015, the company has raised over $21 million USD.