BERLIN & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announced that it is leading a $50 million growth equity investment in Berlin-based GetYourGuide, the leading independent online marketplace for discovering and booking travel activities worldwide. The company’s existing investors, Spark Capital, Highland Capital Partners and Sunstone Capital as well as new investor Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) will join KKR in its round of financing. Going forward, KKR will support GetYourGuide’s global expansion by providing primary capital, operational resources and access to its global network.
Founded in 2009, GetYourGuide is the leading independent online platform for booking travel activities all across the world. Operating in the global market for travel activities with an estimated size of $100 billion1 annually, the company offers a digital marketplace, connecting the highly fragmented ecosystem of global tour and activity operators with domestic and international travelers. Through its highly optimized online and mobile platform, travelers enjoy a one-stop-shop to search, discover, book and digitally redeem travel experiences. GetYourGuide offers over 27,800 activities in more than 2,500 destinations, including everything from a Segway tour of San Francisco, to fast-track tickets on the Eiffel Tower, to a river cruise in Shanghai. The company is managed by its co-founders, Johannes Reck and Tao Tao, and backed by travel industry veterans Kees Koolen (former CEO of Booking.com) and Fritz Demopoulos (founder of Qunar.com) as well as leading venture capital firms Spark Capital and Highland Capital Partners.
Johannes Reck, CEO and co-founder of GetYourGuide, said: “Enjoying new experiences is the core of why we travel. However, the way travelers book these travel activities today remains predominantly offline and is fraught with challenges. GetYourGuide enables travelers to search and book travel activities via one single platform which tremendously simplifies the process and saves time. We are raising new capital to enhance our capabilities globally and chose KKR as a differentiated and experienced partner that will help us accelerate our global expansion.”
Philipp Freise, Member and Head of the European Media & Digital Investment team at KKR, said: "We are excited to partner with the founder-led GetYourGuide team, which operates in the highly attractive global market for leisure activities. The company has a tremendous opportunity to take the clear leadership position in the fast growing large market for digital leisure travel. Similar to our recent digital-driven European investments in Trainline, Scout24 Switzerland, Fotolia, arago and BMG, KKR will help unleash GetYourGuide’s enormous potential. After our investments in BMG and Fotolia, this transaction marks KKR’s third growth investment in Berlin, one of Europe’s leading technology ecosystems which we are delighted to be a part of.”
Kees Koolen, former CEO of Booking.com and member of GetYourGuide’s Board of Directors, said: “In a short period of time, GetYourGuide has come a long way from being a promising startup to one of the world’s most exciting companies in the travel industry. This major funding round will support the highly talented and truly committed GetYourGuide team in bringing the company to the next stage of development.”
Fritz Demopoulos, founder of Qunar.com and member of GetYourGuide’s Board of Directors, said: “GetYourGuide has been on the fast lane since the beginning. KKR will be an important partner in further accelerating the company’s growth by providing pronounced investment experience, industry know-how, and operational excellence.”
KKR has a long established track record of supporting technology companies, having invested more than $14 billion of equity in 60 companies across software, internet, media and IT-infrastructure since 2000. GetYourGuide is part of KKR's growth equity strategy, which is focused on market-leading, high-growth companies for which KKR can be a unique partner in helping reach scale and the next level of growth. Amongst KKR’s recent growth equity investments are Optimal+ (big data analytics company that provides highly actionable insights to the semiconductor and electronics industry), ClickTale (behavioral big data analytics software for web & mobile), Ping Identity (identity security software), arago (AI-based IT automation software), DoubleDutch (mobile platform for events and conferences), and Texture (digital magazine subscription marketplace).
KKR is funding the investment primarily from the balance sheet of KKR & Co. LP (NYSE:KKR). The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial details are not being disclosed.
1 Source: Phocuswright, 2013
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As the internet’s largest booking platform for travel activities, GetYourGuide offers more than 27,800 attractions, tours and activities in upwards of 2,500 worldwide destinations. From sightseeing and historical tours to sport activities, museums, and event tickets, GetYourGuide provides an extensive assortment. The GetYourGuide website was launched in 2010. The company has offices in Berlin (HQ), Zurich, Paris, London, Barcelona, Dubai and Las Vegas, employing more than 200 people, of which about 180 work in the Berlin headquarters. For additional information about GetYourGuide, please visit the company’s website at www.getyourguide.com.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world‐class people, and driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners' capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital markets business. References to KKR's investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR's website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.