Tiqets, the Netherlands-based ticketing platform for major attractions, has captured the attention of Airbnb with its new Series C investment round.
Airbnb led the round, citing how the company has "effectively used new technology to connect travelers to communities."
Tiqets has more than doubled its existing amount of capital raised so far with the $60 million funding round announced today (October 29).
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Created in 2014, CEO and co-founder Luuc Elzinga has led the company through a number of investments, including a $23 million Series B almost 12 months ago to the day.
HPE Growth and Investion, previous lead investors in earlier rounds, both participated in the new round alongside Airbnb.
The level of capital from each new investor in this Series C round was not disclosed. Airbnb will be a "minority shareholder," Elzinga says.
Speaking to PhocusWire last week, Elzinga says there are no immediate plans for any strategic integration of the Tiqets platform or content into Airbnb Experiences.
The company will use the new funding to continue development of what Elzinga calls "the plumbing" that helps attractions sell tickets and improve the experience for their customers.
Tools for mass-market attractions
Although predominantly a consumer-facing business, Tiqets also provides tools to attractions that give them the chance to feature multiple language provision, time management for bookings and pricing functionality.
Elzinga says around two-thirds of the 3,000 attractions that it currently works with have "deeper relationship" beyond sending them bookings from its own website.
Some 2,500 distribution partners are now also using the Tiqets service to sell tickets, he says.
The company works mostly with high-volume attractions in more than 60 countries around the world, such as the Empire State Building, Sagrada Familia, The Vatican, Van Gogh Museum and Burj Khalifa.
The investment by Airbnb is an interesting breakaway from its current strategy around tours and activities, with it either building technology in-house to power its Airbnb Experiences platform or buying fledgling brands to plug gaps in its expertise or platform.
In 2016, Airbnb acquired Trip4Real, a platform to connect travellers with locals who are willing to provide their own, personal tour or activity in a destination, for an undisclosed fee.
Airbnb has so far deliberately shied away from selling tickets for high-profile, large-volume products within its Experiences brand, preferring to stick with "unique" and local flavor-type efforts.
With no plans to integrate the two services, Airbnb's investment is for now solely a strategic one (similar to its backing of OYO in 2018) and does not signal a shift in its model for Experiences.
Still, earlier this year, Airbnb entered the multiday tours arena with the launch of Airbnb Adventures, an extension of its Experiences product offering unique, off-the-grid expeditions.
The move was, in fact, a return to the Experiences division’s initial concept, which was to sell multiday tours when it launched in 2016; the strategy was later scaled back to include smaller tours and things to do.
* Check out this interview with Elzinga at the Arival conference in Las Vegas in September 2018.
PhocusWire @ Arival 2018 - Tiqets eyes a big opportunity for attractions
Tours and Activities at The Phocuswright Conference 2019
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