Online marketplace Headout has raised $30M to expand its offering of tours, activities and attractions from 30 destinations to 500. This follows a $12 million raise in September 2021.
The company also says it will launch new verticals for domestic short-haul travel and is looking to acquire other businesses and expand its team.
Headout claims to have grown by 800% over the past year. It says 10 million travelers have used its services.
The Series B round was led by existing investor Glade Brook Capital, with the participation of existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, FJ Labs and 500 Startups, among others.
Headout has been running its own tour product, similar to GetYourGuide Originals, where multiple tour operators provide the same standardized experience to travelers. It says this is solving a problem of consistent service levels. However, unlike GetYourGuide, Headout does not brand the tours, nor does it reveal the brand of the tour operator.
Currently, it works with fewer than 1,000 operators in 40 cities. Headout will grow its acquisition team to increase this to 250 cities. It offers commissions of 22–23%.
Operators in Europe who are working with Headout say that the company appears to be growing fast, selling hard and pushing for better rates for operators. One operator said Headout has become their second largest partner after GetYourGuide.
One way that Headout sells white-labeled tours is through their own attraction websites. These are named similarly to the official site. For example, Headout’s Louvre site is louvre-museum.tickets-paris.fr. The official site for the Parisian attraction is louvre.fr. Headout’s Louvre site does show its branding on the main landing pages.
In the press release announcing their raise, Headout takes a swipe at the metaverse, saying that it is working to build interactions with the “real universe”.
“The world is an incredibly boring place without travel and real-life experiences. Covid has only made us more relentless on our mission to inspire people to experience the world out there and the current wave only strengthens our resolve,” Varun Khona, co-founder & CEO, said.
This article was amended at 12.48 on 2 February 2022 to change a mistake in the copy. Headout shows that it is not an official site in the header image of the Louvre site
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