Withlocals.com, a Netherlands-based marketplace connecting travelers with local tour guides, has raised €3.5 million ($4.3 million) in a Series A round, led by Inkef Capital.
The business was set up in 2013 and now has more than 1,200 bookable private tours on its platform, covering 24 cities around the world. Some 900 local hosts, all of whom are vetted by Withlocals, use the service to promote their trips.
The funding will help the business deliver on its plans to expand into another 40 cities in 2018, including Florence, New York, and Hong Kong. It refers to EyeForTravel research which says that the market for personalized tours will be worth $6.8 billion a year by 2020, and believes it can capture 20% of that market.
It adds that over the past 18 months it has increased booking volumes by an average of 20% month-on-month and is optimistic that by adding more languages to its website, adding more destinations and upgrading its mobile web and app, this growth can continue.
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