Travel Adventure Startup YouTravel.Me Raises $1M to Strengthen Its Position in the US
YouTravel.Me, an algorithm-powered online platform for booking small group adventure travel organized by travel experts, announced today that it has secured $1 million in funding. The round was led by Starta VC with the help of co-investing platform Liqvest.com and participation from Mission Gate, Bas Godska and others. The company plans to use the raised funds to strengthen its position on the US market, increase gross merchandise value to $2.7 million per month by the end of 2021, and enhance its technological platform.
YouTravel.Me offers over 15,900 tours in over 130 countries around the world. Matchmaking algorithms connect travelers based on their interests, values, and past experiences. Using live chat or voice, travelers can also connect with travel experts who can help them prepare for an adventure and provide them with information about other tour participants. This approach enables the creation of an interconnected community of like-minded individuals looking to explore the world through expeditions, hiking trips, wellness retreats, yacht regattas and more. Today, there are over 10,000 travelers and 4,200 travel experts on YouTravel.Me.
“We’re on a mission to create a more personalized group travel experience, so travelers can bond and make meaningful connections,” says Olga Bortnikova, co-founder and CEO of YouTravel.Me. “Through this investment, we will enhance our matchmaking technology and introduce YouTravel.Me to more clients globally, with a focus on the U.S.”
Deep connections create more profound experiences. Utilizing a matchmaking formula and micro-segmentation, the booking experience is simple and fast, allowing consumers to complete their reservations in one sitting. As part of its mission to improve the overall quality of travel services available, YouTravel.Me also devotes significant attention to educating its community and community of travel guides through its own BeGuide platform.
“Travel industry has significantly evolved over the past decade, and the old ways no longer resonate with the modern traveler,” says Alexey Girin, General Partner at Starta Capital, an NYC-based early stage VC. “YouTravel.Me leads the way in bringing cutting-edge technology to the travel industry, offering a personalized approach to group tours. I’m inspired by YouTravel.Me’s vision and see high potential for future growth opportunities as the travel landscape continues to evolve.”
“There’s an uptick in customized experiences that cater to audiences looking for new ways to travel and explore the world,” says Bas Godska, angel investor and General Partner in Acrobator Ventures. “I look forward to partnering with YouTravel.Me as they passionately continue redefining the modern travel industry.”
The platform verifies its travel experts through a special score system to ensure safety and quality. The selection criteria include work experience, financial data and social media presence.
YouTravel.Me is an algorithm-powered online platform for booking multi-day small group adventure travel organized by travel experts, from yoga retreats to safaris. Launched in Europe in 2018, YouTravel.Me is a global community of more than 10,000 happy travelers and 4,300 travel experts offering 15,600 tours in over 130 countries around the world.