The Top 43 Tours & Activities Startups by Funding

Investors have poured $1.8B into startups in our industry since 2017. See the full list, and what it means for you.
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Investors have poured $1.8B into startups in our industry since 2017. See the full list, and what it means for you. 

Update August 12, 2019

Since we first published this on July 30, 2019, several individuals reached out to help us correct or add information to improve this list. As a result of these inputs and our review, we have made the following changes:

1) Total number of startups that raised funds since 2017 in the tours, activities and attractions sector has jumped from 36 to 42.

2) The total funding goes to $1.8B. There is an asterisk next to the six new companies in the table below.

The in-destination industry has been red hot when it comes to startups. We decided to dig in and figure out just how hot. We also wanted to understand if all that heat is really just from the two big OTAs (online travel agencies) that have raised huge rounds in 2019 (GetYourGuide and Klook), or if significant sums have gone into other sectors.

So we tracked down all of the online travel startups we could find in our sector—tours, activities and attractions—and discovered 36 companies that have raised funding since 2017. The full list is below. Here’s what we’ve learned:

Investors have poured more than $1.8 billion into startups in our sector since 2017. (Musement announced a $10 million round in late 2016, so we are including that here.) That’s a lot of money, any way you slice it.

Two companies, the global activity OTAs Klook and GetYourGuide, together at more than $1 billion in funding since 2017, account for two-thirds of the total. That’s a lot, but it also means investors see opportunity in many more companies and other business models.

Silicon Valley is nowhere to be seen. Just 6% of funding have gone to U.S.-based startups. The action, apparently, is in Europe and Asia. 

Investors like OTAs, big online marketplaces that aggregate lots of supply and lots of demand, but many appear willing to place bets on smaller, niche OTAs that specialize in select regions (such as Korea’s MyRealTrip) or unique local experiences (like Netherlands’ Withlocals).

The jury is still out on the peer-to-peer (P2P), local experiences OTA. This is the most popular model for entrepreneurs to pursue (the category in the list below is “P2P or Niche Experiences OTA”). It accounts for 31% of all companies, but just 6% of funding.

Multi-day OTAs, or OTAs that specialize in offering tours from multi-day tour providers, is the second most funded segment. Four companies in this sector have raised more than $250 million to make complex and customized multi-day experiences bookable online. 

B2B technology is underrated, but probably not underfunded. Ten of the funded companies, or nearly 30% of the 35, offer technology services to other businesses (reservations, booking and distribution technology). But funding to these B2B companies accounts for just 5% of total funding. This could reflect the hesitancy investors have to back complex, B2B businesses. However, given the number of successful reservation system companies and two successful exits already (FareHarbor and Bokun), this suggests perhaps some B2B businesses in our industry do not need enormous funding rounds to become viable concerns.

Now the big question before our industry is, how will this all play out? All of this funding speaks to the investor enthusiasm and potential, but it will only be the exits that will tell the story of our sector.

How did we compile this list? Pretty much manually. Here’s what we did:

  1. We only included startups that have received funding since 2017 with one exception (Musement, which announced funding in late 2016). We know there are many more startups out there! 🙂
  2. We excluded acquisitions and IPOs.
  3. We sourced funding information from press releases and public databases.
CompanyFunding since 2017 (US$M)RegionDescriptionWebsite
Huangbaoche130APACP2P or Niche Experiences
evaneos109EuropeMulti-day Tour
Tourlane81EuropeMulti-day Tour
TourRadar66EuropeMulti-day Tour
Fever*55EuropeOTA for Experiences &
Tiqets40EuropeAttraction Tickets
IfOnly26U.S.P2P or Niche Experiences
Withlocals12EuropeP2P or Niche Experiences
PlacePass12U.S.OTA (Metasearch)
CheckYeti*9EuropeOTA for
GlobalTix9APACB2B Distributor & Tech
Redeam8U.S.B2B Distributor & Tech
BeMyGuest6APACB2B Distributor & Tech
Rezdy5APACB2B Distributor & Tech
Travello5APACP2P or Niche Experiences
TheGuru*4U.S.Mobile guest experience
Vamonde3.5U.S.B2B Distributor & Tech
Touristly/Vidi2.6APACOTA(now part of AirAsia)
Stride Travel2.5U.S.Multi-day Tour
Coras2EuropeB2B Distributor & Tech Provider for Event
Turismoi2LATAM, EuropeB2B Marketing Tech Provider
Tomis Tech*1.7U.S.B2B Marketing Tech
CityUnscripted1.5EuropeP2P or Niche Experiences
My Travel Mate*1.2EuropeB2B Distribution for
Lokalocal<1APACP2P or Niche Experiences
TakeMeTour<1APACP2P or Niche Experiences
Triip<1APACP2P or Niche Experiences
Hivesters<1APACP2P or Niche Experiences
TourOpp*<1U.S.OTA for Discounted
Localbini<1EuropeP2P or Niche Experiences
Questo<1EuropeP2P or Niche Experiences
Leamigo<1APACP2P or Niche Experiences
GetGuided<1EuropeB2B Distributor & Tech
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