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ToursByLocals snaps up its first funding, C$33M, to link sightseers with guides globally

ToursByLocals — which sources local guides in some 162 countries, then helps tourists search and book them for either individual or small group tours and experiences in the place they are visiting — is today announcing 33 million Canadian dollars (US$25 million) in funding, from a single investor, Tritium Partners, money that it plans to use to hire more talent, build out its proprietary booking, payment and review publishing technology and expand its business development team.

The valuation of ToursByLocals — co-founded by Paul Melhus, Dave Vincent and Luciano Bullorsky — is not being disclosed, but for some context, it’s operating in a dynamic (and crowded) space that includes competitors like Airbnb (by way of its Experiences effort); Berlin’s GetYourGuide, which last year raised funding from SoftBank and is now valued at over $1 billion; Hong Kong’s Klook, also backed by Softank and also valued at over $1 billion; Withlocals from the Netherlands; and more.

Since our founding, we’ve focused on creating truly memorable private tour experiences for travelers, while helping local tour guides offer customizable tours in over 1,000 destinations globally,” said Melhus, the CEO of ToursByLocals, in a statement.

That could include feeding its own product into aggregation platforms like Booking.com or Airbnb, which are keen to expand their revenues per user with extras like tours and experiences, on top of airline and other transportation sales, accommodation bookings and other travel services they may already offer.

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