Vancouver travel startup ToursByLocals reaches $100-million valuation


The company raised $33 million from U.S. private equity firm Tritium Partners—its first outside investment—valuing it at over $100 million. It operates an online service connecting travellers with private tours from local guides. (The Globe and Mail, The Logic)

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Talking point: ToursByLocals was founded in 2008 and now counts 1.5 million customers and 100 employees and some US$45 million in revenue. The company hopes the investment will help it make inroads in the tours market—expected to hit $183 billion by this year—but faces stiff competition from firms like Berlin’s GetYourGuide and Hong Kong’s Klook, both backed by SoftBank and valued at over $1 billion. ToursByLocals said it distinguishes itself by curating the guides with whom it works, which include “archaeologists, art historians, wildlife experts, photographers and foodies.” The company reportedly has 4,130 guides and 30,000 tours on its platform.