The portal for excursions all over the world
GetYourGuide wins renowned Devigier prize for young entrepreneurs in Switzerland.
Solothurn/Lausanne, - June 29, 2011:
W.A. de Vigier Foundation Awardee 2011: GetYourGuide Inc.
On GetYourGuide.com it's possible to book tours, excursions and events of all kinds, from around the world online. The idea for GetYourGuide came to de Vigier Winner Pascal Mathis and his co-founders after they missed out on a similar business offer. In the beginning of 2010, the four ETH graduates launched their portal – today several thousand people from all over the world are booking offers month after month. In doing so, they have helped the Internet startup company from Technopark in Zurich reach notable sales in a short amount of time.
GetYourGuide has 30 employees in their Zurich, Berlin and Las Vegas offices, even though the portal has only been online since the beginning of 2010. This fast growth has been a direct result of GetYourGuide's determination of wanting to become the worldwide number one online booking platform and the leader in their target market. So far the company is on track to achieve this goal: "If we continue to grow in the sector of offers, we will overtake the present market leader in a few months" said co-founder Pascal Mathis.
The service GetYourGuide offers, is similar to a hotel portal. But from the Zurich based company, it's possible to book more than five thousand tours, excursions and events of all kinds from around the world. Those who want to do a gastronomic tour through the Montmartre quarter in Paris will find something suitable to their needs, as well those who are looking for a canyoning tour in Costa Rica.
There are similar portals available on the web, but GetYourGuide differs from the rest. They offer the tour organizers the possibility to manage the offers directly on their own, leaving the handling of the payment, including the encashment to be done by the startup company. Additionally, GetYourGuide serves as a marketing platform for the tours and suppliers. For all the available services provided by GetYourGuide, a commission between 20 to 30 per cent of the selling price is paid by the tour suppliers. Currently, the portal has more than 100.000 visitors per month.
This past April, more than 2000 bookings registered on the platform, showing that the service is growing in popularity in the tour industry. Thanks to the sales, GetYourGuide can already finance a part of their growth on their own. A second round of financing is planned, but this will probably be restricted to a capital increase through their present investors.
One of the investors is Roland Zeller, a real insider in the Internet travel market. In 1999, he founded the online travel office 'travel.ch', which has become the undisputed market leader in Switzerland. At GetYourGuide, Zeller acted as a business angel. The travel professional even cared about the small details. At the beginning, he advised the founders against mentioning too many extreme sports events on the homepage and instead highlight the city tours which have a high booking rate. But the presentation of the homepage was no coincidence: Pascal Mathis, as well as another co-founder both love extreme sports. A short time ago, Mathis flew on a paraglider from Mount Rigi,down into the valley below during the night. "That was great", commented the founder.
They will need these distracting hobbies to help themselves relax and recuperate after the stressful and busy last few months. It was only in 2010 when Mathis and co-founder Johannes Reck made GetYourGuide attractive the suppliers themselves. With the opening of offices in Berlin and Las Vegas, the startup company now has a sales team in each region. "We had to develop clear processes, otherwise you soon make an unprofessional impression" explains Mathis.
GetYourGuide has achieved positive organic growth through hard work throughout the company
and the popularity rise in the travel industry. In March, the startup was in a position to arrange a partnership with TripAdvisor, the worldwide largest portal for travel ratings. Since then, excursions and tours from GetYourGuide can also be rated there. With a special "book now"-button, TripAdvisor links directly to the GetYourGuide page, where the offer can be booked.
Box-Text: Half a million for five startups
The first time the W.A. de Vigier Foundation Prize was awarded was in 1989 and it is now the highest renowned prize for young entrepreneurs in Switzerland. The winning startup founders do not only receive 100.000 SFr, they also benefit from the long-term accompaniment of the Foundation Council. The Foundation Council president is the entrepreneur, Moritz Suter. This year five companies were namely priced: Malcisbo and Skybotix, both spin offs of the ETH Zurich, the startup ViSSee from Ticino, Abionic from Lausanne and the Internet platform GetYourGuide. Thomas von Waldkirch, the president of the foundation Technopark in Zurich, was chosen as the "Supporter of Startups of the Year 2011".
CEO Johannes Reck
Managing Director W.A. de Vigier Stiftung
Tel. +41 (0)79 265 61 29
GetYourGuide is Europe's leading platform for booking tours, attractions and activities online. Activities on GetYourGuide range from sightseeing and historical tours to rafting and snorkeling. GetYourGuide provides over 4000 tours and activities in more than 500 destinations worldwide. The company was founded 2009 in Switzerland and has offices in Zurich, Berlin and Las Vegas.
© 2008-2013 GetYourGuide