Investments

ToursByLocals Gets $25M To Match Travelers With Guides

ToursByLocals Gets $25M In Funding

The tours and experiences market is rapidly growing, and analysts predict that it will be worth $183 billion in 2020. One particular startup, ToursByLocals, aims to capitalize on this trend. The company has gotten a significant investment in a funding round to aid its expansion, according to a report.

The company sources guides in about 162 countries and links them up with tourists, either for one-on-one tours or group tours. On Monday (Jan. 13), ToursByLocals announced a $25 million investment from Tritium Partners.

ToursByLocals said the company will use the money to expand and to build out its booking and payment technologies. The firm employs around 100 people.

This is the first time the company has received outside funding. Since it was launched 10 years ago by Paul Melhus, Dave Vincent and Luciano Bullorsky, the firm has built a base of 1.45 million customers and $45 million in revenues.

ToursByLocals’ valuation is not being disclosed, but many competitors in the space – including Airbnb, GetYourGuide from Berlin and Klook from Hong Kong – have reached unicorn status at more than $1 billion. However, others in the space, like Vayable, have shut down.

ToursByLocals said it has around 4,130 guides and 30,000 tours available for both solo travelers and those who want more of a group experience. The company added that it carefully curates its guides, with only one in 10 applicants being accepted. It focuses on “archaeologists, art historians, wildlife experts, photographers and foodies” – instead of simply choosing a local, the firm says that it selects people who have expertise in specific subjects.

“A private tour with a local guide is the best way to experience a destination. Since our founding, we’ve focused on creating truly memorable private tour experiences for travelers, while helping local tour guides offer customizable tours in over 1,000 destinations globally,” said Melhus, the CEO of ToursByLocals, in a statement.

——————————

NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

TRENDING RIGHT NOW