Founded by Australian brothers Travis and Shawn Pittman but relocated to Austria of all places, TourRadar, the travel tour booking site, seems to be on a roll. The startup has just closed $6 million in Series A funding, based, I’m hearing, on a major growth spurt over the last 7 months.
The round is led by Cherry Ventures (the first investment from its new €150 million fund) and London’s Hoxton Ventures. Austrian VCs, Aws Founders Fund (the fund of the Austrian federal development bank) and Speedinvest, also participated.
“Before TourRadar aggregated and sold touring products online, travellers were forced to search hundreds of tour operator websites (or visit their local high-street travel agent) to find the tour that suits them,” says TourRadar CEO Travis Pittman.
“Picture yourself wanting to go touring on a wildlife safari in Africa, a 12 day coach tour through Europe or a 5 day trek to Machu Picchu. You have a budget and departure date in mind, but you don’t know where to start your search and might not trust some of the local tour operator websites enough to put down your credit card or transfer a couple of grand to their offshore bank account. TourRadar makes booking tours easy”.
He also says TourRadar differs from European online travel marketplace Evaneos, which recently snagged $21 million in further funding and also targets travellers seeking tour-type vacations, because the former offers tailor-made or bespoke experiences with a local travel agent, whereas “TourRadar is focused on scheduled departures and itineraries (with a tour guide) run by either local or global tour operators”.
To that end, Hoxton Ventures’ Hussein Kanji says that TourRadar has built the largest collection of tours in the industry. It currently partners with over 500 tour operators running trips to over 200 countries, and has signed partnerships with Amadeus and Rough Guides.
“Marketplace businesses win by building great supply. We are amazed that from its office in Vienna, the team has been able to cover the world so effectively and become a recognized leader. Now it is time to step on the gas and scale up demand,” he says in a statement.