16 Jul 2018

Headout earmarks $10m Series A for more cities, more languages, more branded experiences

Destination experiences app Headout has secured $10 million in new investment to fund expansion plans.

Headout, which promotes itself as being a “mobile-first entertainment marketplace”, uses its app to connect tourists with activity providers for last-minute bookings, with the majority of sales made on the same day.

The start-up, which has offices in New York, London, Dubai, Bangalore and Berlin, secured the Series A funding from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Version One Ventures.

It follows a $1.8m seed round secured in April 2015.

The business was formed off the back of another startup – Tourlandish – also set up by Headout’s co-founder and CEO Varun Khona in Bangalore in 2013 – see its tnooz startup pitch here.

The pivot from Tourlandish’s generic tours and activities marketplace to an app-based same-day model was a response to data showing a preference among Tourlandish customers for same-day rather than advance bookings.

Headout currently offers services in 15 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, London, Dubai, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid and Amsterdam.

The company said revenues have grown eightfold during the past 12 months allowing it to start to turn a profit from this month.

Headout plans to expand to 100 cities across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific during the next 18 months.

It will also continue to roll out its platform in new languages – currently it offers English, French, German and Spanish but wants all experiences to be available in 12 languages by the end of 2019.

Offering its own branded experiences is another key growth strategy for Headout. These products were beta-tested earlier this year and are now being rolled out across several markets this year.

Headout also has partnerships with Google Trips, Wall Street Journal and in-room hotel specialist Handy.

Khona said:

“Our focus is on understanding the city and going deep in a category rather than spreading ourselves thin across the globe.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth over the past year while improving our unit economics and capital efficiency. As a last-minute marketplace, we’ve helped customers save an average of 18% on their reservations with Headout, thereby making these experiences both accessible and affordable.”

Related reading from tnooz:

GetYourGuide to run its own branded tours, unveils new tagline (June 2018)

TUI Group brings tours and activities out of the shadows (Feb 2018)

Ctrip furthers tours and activities ambitions with Big Bus tie-up (Jan 2018)

View original article here