TripAdvisor rival GetYourGuide is valued at over $2 billion

German online travel startup GetYourGuide has secured $194 million in funding from investors, with plans to capitalize on the growing demand for travel services, expand into the U.S. market, and invest in artificial intelligence tools such as large language models (LLMs). The funding round included an $85 million equity investment led by U.S. asset management firm Blue Pool Capital, valuing the company at nearly $2 billion.

Unlike traditional online travel platforms, GetYourGuide focuses on selling experiences and activities in lesser-explored destinations rather than hotels and flights. The company partners with third-party suppliers to offer a wide range of experiences, earning a commission on each booking.

Following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel industry, GetYourGuide experienced a significant rebound in demand as travel restrictions eased. The CEO and co-founder, Johannes Reck, noted a doubling of sales volumes in 2022 and a quadrupling in the first quarter of 2023 compared to pre-pandemic levels. To adapt to changing circumstances, GetYourGuide introduced virtual tours and its own exclusive branded experiences called “Originals.”

The funding will be used to support the company’s expansion in the U.S., a market that has demonstrated substantial growth for GetYourGuide. Additionally, the investment will fuel advancements in AI technology, particularly the integration of LLMs. These large language models, trained on extensive datasets, enable the automation of content generation and personalized recommendations, enhancing the user experience.

GetYourGuide aims to tap into the $300 billion travel experiences market while envisioning a broader market potential of $1.5 trillion for experiences overall. By combining innovative technology with an extensive offering of unique experiences, the company strives to position itself as a leader in the online travel industry, catering to the evolving needs of travelers worldwide.