Headout, a US and India-based spontaneous experiences provider, has raised $10 Mn in a Series A funding round from Nexus Venture Partners.
Talking to Inc42, Varun Khona, co-founder and CEO, Headout, said that the funds will be used for launching services in 100 cities by 2019, expanding the team worldwide and investing in technology to further enable seamless last-minute mobile reservations for local experiences.
Founded in 2014 by Suren Sultania, Varun Khona, and Vikram Jit Singh, Headout is a managed marketplace helping travellers and locals access curated, high-quality local experiences available at the last-minute.
The company claims to be evolving the way people discover the world around them in three taps and currently serves 15 cities across three continents. Headout has offices in New York, London, Dubai, Bengaluru, and Berlin.
Jishnu Bhattacharya, general partner at Nexus Venture Partners, said, “We are thrilled to be partners in the journey of building the delightful headout experience, that today’s mobile users deserve for discovering and experiencing cities around the world.”
Headout: Plans With Latest Fund Raise
With a total funding of $12 Mn, Headout claims to have increased it revenues 8x in the last 12 months, with strong unit economics that helped it turn profitable this month.
Over the next 18 months, the company plans to expand its services from 20 cities to 100 cities across North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth over the past year while improving our unit economics and capital efficiency. As a last minute marketplace, we’ve helped customers save an average of 18% on their reservations with Headout, thereby making these experiences both accessible and affordable.”, said Suren Sultania, co-founder and COO of Headout.
The company has also diversified the language options and has started enabling services in French, German & Spanish in select markets and plans to have all its experiences available in 12 languages by the end of 2019.
The company also plans to launch its flagship branded experiences across several markets this year after successfully running a pilot last quarter.
With an aim of becoming a global leader for mobile-first in-destination experiences, Headout further plans to invest aggressively in its inventory and data systems and branded experiences to enable digitisation and standardisation of last-minute experiences as it helps bring the massive $185 Bn in-destination services market from offline to online.
Catering To Millennial’s Love For Exploration
With increasingly hectic work lives, Millennials love to travel and explore offbeat places and experiences.
Weekend getaways are the new cool, and they’re even exploring cities anew. Platforms such as Little Black Book (LBB) are helping them stay updated on everything new to try in the city.
LBB, which started as a Tumblr blog or a sort of ‘Pinterest of Local Discovery’, is now a robust recommendation platform with over 2 Mn monthly users and over 30,000 local businesses across the country who have benefitted from it. LBB’s growth still continues to be 80%-85% organically.
Additionally, the global e-discovery market is expected to reach $14 Bn at a CAGR of 15% by 2020.
To cash in on the increasing opportunity of travellers and explorers, global players are focusing on India. Airbnb, for instance, introduced its new platform ‘Trips’ in India. which enables visitors to experience the city they are travelling to in a different light by mingling with the locals.
With weekend life and the exploratory culture picking up in India, experience platforms such as Headout have a huge market to address in Indian millennials.