Withlocals, a peer-to-peer marketplace for locals to offer travellers various experiences, such as tours, home dining, and other local activities, has raised $500,000 in funding from startup builder and backer Greenhouse Group.
The Netherlands-founded startup will use the investment to launch out of beta this fall and, curiously, target Southeast Asia — a move it says differentiates itself from U.S. competitor Vayable.
One way to think of Withlocals is as an Airbnb for travel experiences (in fact, rival Vayable has partnered with Airbnb). It enables locals to sell travel experiences within three categories: — “EAT Withlocals,” “TOURS Withlocals,” and “ACTIVITIES Withlocals” — the idea being to enable a more authentic travel experience for tourists while enabling locals to make money through the platform.
It’s also through this peer-to-peer transaction that Withlocals will generate revenue. Yes, folks, notch this up as another entrant into the so-called sharing economy.
So, for example, EAT Withlocals promises an “authentic meal” at a local family’s home, at a price lower than a restaurant. Part of the charm of such an experience is that you get to spend time with the hosting family — a proposition similar to Paris-based Cookening (and countless others). To that end, Withlocals says its goal is to create 100,000 new “restaurants” within the next three years.
Likewise, TOURS Withlocals pitches itself as a way to “enjoy a trip through the eyes of a local,” and ACTIVITIES Withlocals will offer activities and workshops, such as learning fruit carving in Bali, or Tuk Tuk driving in Bangkok. You get the idea.