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SoftBank leads US$484m investment in Germany's GetYourGuide

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SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund led a US$484 million investment in GetYourGuide, a Berlin-based online seller of travel activities such as tickets to the Eiffel Tower.

[BERLIN] SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund led a US$484 million investment in GetYourGuide, a Berlin-based online seller of travel activities such as tickets to the Eiffel Tower.

The round values GetYourGuide, which competes with the likes of TripAdvisor Inc and Expedia Inc, at well over 1 billion euros (S$1.53 billion), according to a person familiar with the situation.

GetYourGuide will use the money to add more product categories - such as transportation, winter sport offerings or culinary experiences - and build additional scale in Asia and the US, said Chief Executive Officer Johannes Reck.

"We want to be relevant for as many customers in as many places as possible," Mr Reck said in a phone interview. He declined to comment on the company's valuation. Temasek Holdings Pte, Lakestar LP, and Heartcore Capital A/S also joined the funding round.

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For SoftBank, it's the latest European investment after spending a combined US$1.8 billion for stakes in Germany's Wirecard AG and the UK's Greensill, both financial services providers, in the past month. SoftBank also led a US$440 million funding round into bespoke lender OakNorth Holdings earlier this year.

In a statement, GetYourGuide said it employs about 500 people and has sold more than 25 million tickets for activities such as shark diving in Cape Town or a helicopter ride in the Grand Canyon. The company said it had also hired Nils Chrestin, formerly at Global Fashion Group, as chief financial officer, and Instagram's Ameet Ranadive as chief product officer.

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