New cash injection: Getyourguide back in the fast lane

New cash injection
Getyourguide back in the fast lane

The pandemic has caused the travel startup Getyourguide to experience dramatic difficulties. With the end of the Corona measures, however, the company can build on old successes again. The booking portal is now securing fresh money for expansion.

The Berlin travel start-up Getyourguide sees itself back on the road to success after almost failing in the corona crisis and has secured 194 million US dollars (182 million euros) in another financing round. According to the company, the cash injection consists on the one hand of an equity financing of 85 million US dollars by Blue Pool Capital with the participation of KKR and Temasek. In addition, the banks BNP Paribas and Citibank as well as the German KfW provided a revolving loan – a kind of overdraft facility for companies – of 109 million US dollars.

According to company circles, the valuation of the start-up rose to almost two billion US dollars. GetYourGuide arranges travel experiences, tour guides or admission tickets for holidaymakers around the world for a commission. In 2019 – ten years after it was founded – the start-up had reached a billion valuation thanks to a large investment by the Japanese investor Softbank.

However, due to the corona pandemic, Getyourguide got into difficulties because the travel business collapsed and the company’s sales had fallen to almost zero. At the time, Johannes Reck, CEO and co-founder of GetYourGuide, offered employees shares in the company instead of a salary so that they did not have to let the sought-after specialists go.

With the end of the Corona measures in most countries, Getyourguide was able to build on its most successful year to date, 2019, and even surpass the results of that time. According to the company, the booking volume in the first quarter of 2023 is four times higher than in the first quarter of 2019: “The travel experiences category is growing rapidly and is benefiting from a cross-generational change in customer behavior,” it says.

The investment aims to solidify GetYourGuide as a leader in the $300 billion travel experience market, the company said. The fresh money will be used, among other things, to expand the market presence in key regions such as North America. “This round of financing is a milestone for GetYourGuide and the beginning of a new chapter,” said Reck. Since the pandemic, GetYourGuide has come back as a bigger and better company.

Many startups are struggling with the weakening economy and rising costs. Because this means that the breakeven point is moving further away and interest rates are rising at the same time, investors’ money is no longer as loose as it was a few years ago. As a result, other up-and-coming companies such as the food supplier Flink have had to accept lower valuations or make other concessions in recent months in order to get fresh money at all.

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