Travel startup and TripAdvisor competition GetYourGuide has raised $194 million in the latest funding round which values the company at nearly $2 billion.
While several sectors of the economy – especially discretionary consumer spending are reeling under the impact of the macroeconomic slowdown – travel and tourism are an exception as consumers continue to spend aggressively on travel experiences.
GetYourGuide said that it raised $85 million in the Series F funding round which was led by Blue Pool Capital – with KKR and Temasek also participating in the funding round.
The company also announced a new revolving credit facility of $109 million led by UniCredit with participation from BNP Paribas, Citibank, and KfW.
While announcing the funding, GetYourGuide CEO and co-founder Johannes Reck said “With this new funding, we can further accelerate innovation in our technology and product development, ensuring that we meet and exceed our customers’ expectations while simplifying growth for our supply partners.”
The company raised $484 million in Series E funding in 2019 which valued it at around $1 billion.
GetYourGuide Valuation Nears $2 Trillion after the Series F Funding
While GetYourGuide did not disclose the valuation and merely said that it represents a “valuation increase,” CNBC reported that it is closer to $2 billion. The company has raised just over $1 billion so far in a combination of debt and equity.
The valuation increase is no mean feat as most startups – with the notable exception of AI companies – have taken a haircut over the last year. Even Twitter’s valuation is down by 66% in less than eight months since Musk took over.
— GURGAVIN (@gurgavin) May 30, 2023
In the blog, Reck said, “In the current market, we view this as a vote of confidence from our investors who believe passionately in unlocking unforgettable experiences for travelers around the globe.”
Founded in 2009, GetYourGuide now offers 75,000 activities globally from over 16,000 experience creators. Since its launch, it has provided over 80 million tours, activities, and attraction tickets through the platform.
GetYourGuide has Pivoted to AI to increase its revenues
In its blog, GetYourGuide said, “The investment will help increase the pace of innovation for travelers and supply partners, leveraging the rapidly progressing capabilities of AI and Large Language Models (LLMs).”
It added, “The acceleration of product investment will not only help travelers make the most of their travels, but also empower supply partners to manage and grow their businesses on the platform with intuitive tools.”
Notably, a week back, GetYourGuide announced the integration of ChatGPT into its platform which it said would help make “discovery even easier, giving travelers the power to find the most unforgettable experiences, anywhere in the world.”
GetYourGuide has become the latest travel company to integrate its services with OpenAI’s ChatGPT artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. #tourism #travelhttps://t.co/H4Z9XoWNDE pic.twitter.com/uNjVrLPCUI
— Travel Weekly Asia (@TravelWeeklyWeb) May 29, 2023
Companies are Integrating AI Into Their Product and Services
Notably, several companies are integrating ChatGPT into their products and services to make the proposition even more attractive to users.
Klarna for instance integrated ChatGPT to its buy-now-pay-later platform for “smooth shopping” product recommendations.
Chinese tech company Baidu – which launched its Ernie chatbot in March – also intends to integrate it across all its product and services.
Among others, Amazon is reportedly working on a ChatGPT-like AI interface for its web store – it is already using AI to improve its logistics and cut delivery times.
We are only a few simple applications away from Iron Man assisted AI levels.
Imagine I have the Amazon Smart Glasses with a voice interface for ChatGPT or something similar?
Now imagine smart AR overlays and also real-time Google Aloud translation for any language.
— Roberto Blake 🇺🇸🇵🇦 Creative Entrepreneur (@robertoblake) May 29, 2023
No wonder, the valuation of AI stocks – both listed and unlisted – has skyrocketed with Nvidia joining the trillion-dollar market cap club amid optimism over its AI chip business.
Coming back to GetYourGuide, the company sees a massive market opportunity and Reck said, “We are still early in the transformation of our category and the larger $300 billion category and the even larger $1.5 trillion experiences market.”
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