Deals

GetYourGuide grabs Gidsy to grow ‘world’s largest portal’ for travel experiences

It’s not often that mushroom foraging leads to technology deals, but in this case it did.

Travel startup GetYourGuide announced today the purchase of Gidsy, an online community that connected local experts to people looking for unique experiences.

Gidsy came into being after the founders couldn’t find a guide for a wild mushroom hunt to make risotto. The platform started in Berlin and within a year expanded into 140 cities around the world. GetYourGuide is a website that helps people search for, find, and book tours, attractions and activities. The company collects and indexes tours, along with ratings, cost and customer reviews. There are currently 19,700 activities on the database in more than 1,930 destinations around the world.

“We have been in close contact with Gidsy over the past 2 years as we are both based in Berlin and GetYourGuide actually  started in the peer-to-peer space, meaning we totally sympathized for the problem Gidsy tried to solve,” said CEO Johannes Reck in an email. “In fact we advised them on numerous occasions. Over time, it became clear though that we are much stronger with joined forces addressing the B2C activities market and then venturing out into the longtail over time, than building two separate product offerings.”

In January 2013, GetYourGuide raised $14 million from Spark Capital and Highland Capital to expand its database of things to do and enter new markets. The Zurich-based company previously focused on professional tours, rather than peer-to-peer sharing. By acquiring Gidsy, GetYourGuide will expand its offering with marketplace of experiences and build out the mobile platform. On the flip side, people who acted as guides on Gidsy will have access to GetYourGuide’s resources, which include marketing and advertising services, as well as organizational, translation, analytic, and optimization tools and a network of strategic partners that includes 1,500 online travel agencies, operators, and media companies.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Gidsy’s team of twelve will join GetYourGuide and Gidsy’s cofounders Edial and Floris Dekker will become the head of mobile development and head of design, respectively. Gidsy will no longer exist. The startup received buzz back in January 2012 raising a $1.2 million seed round led by Sunstone Capital, with participation from Index Ventures, Werner Vogels, Peter Read and Ashton Kutcher.

Photo Credit: Latin America for Less/Flickr

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