Here is the interview with GetYourGuide as well as a look at their HQ office in Berlin
What is your core business?
GetYourGuide is a booking platform for incredible travel experiences.
Travelers use GetYourGuide to connect with the best things to do wherever they’re headed — including skip-the-line tickets to the world’s most iconic attractions, walking tours by top local experts, immersive food and beverage tours, cooking and craft classes, bucket-list experiences, and niche offerings you won’t find anywhere else.
How did you get to your business idea and when was your company established?
The origin of GetYourGuide traces itself to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, where co-founders Johannes Reck and Tao Tao were students.
Tao pursued physics while Johannes pursued biochemistry.
In 2007, the two friends found themselves traveling to Tao’s hometown of Beijing, China for a conference arranged by a student club of which they were both members.
Johannes arrived a day early by mistake and spent all day wandering the streets of Beijing, not knowing where to go or what to do.
Tao arrived the next day and immediately stepped into the role of tour guide. As he puts it, “Suddenly everyone was nicer, the food was twice as good and everything cost half as much.”
Out of this moment of humility, the original insight for GetYourGuide was born.
In which countries are you active?
We offer travel experiences in over 150 countries around the world.
Are you planning to expand your venture in other countries?
We’re already globally active, but the majority of the world’s great undiscovered travel experiences still remain offline.
It’s our goal to discover these hidden gems, connect them with travelers, and deepen their experience and understanding of the destinations they’re visiting by doing so.
Are you using Venture Capital? And, if so, – who are your Venture Partners?
Yes, we’ve raised a total of over $170 million in venture capital funding. Our investors include prestigious US-based VC firms like Battery Ventures and Spark Capital, along with institutional investors like KKR.
Was it hard to find a Venture Partner? How long did this process take?
GetYourGuide was bootstrapped for the first several years of its existence – our founders put in their own money, sweat and tears to make it work.
At first, venture capital firms were highly skeptical of the idea, especially in Germany, where many investors look for a successful American equivalent before investing in a domestic startup.
As we had no such predecessor, we were considered risky and unproven, but when VCs began to grasp the size of our addressable market, and understood our drive and motivation to capture it, funding began to flow.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
We fully intend to stay independent and scale the company into one of the biggest travel brands on the planet.
How many employees work at your company right now? Are you planning to expand?
Our global team is currently around 500-strong, and we have aggressive 2019 hiring plans: we intend to reach a headcount of at least 700 in the year ahead.
What is the average age of your team members?
The average age is 31.
What kind of attitude should new employees have in order to work at your company?
Culture is highly prized at GetYourGuide. We live by our five core values: clarity, commitment, passion, positivity, and learning.
As a data-driven company, we strive to create an environment in which facts trump opinions, logic trumps volume, and the best idea wins, no matter who it comes from.
How does your recruitment process look like?
Our recruiting process varies depending on the role, but in general our process consists of 5 steps.
After a candidate submits an application, they will then speak to a Recruiter over the phone about the role and how it fits into their overall career journey.
From there, we send the candidate a take-home test so she can get a sense of the type of work they will do in the role and demonstrate their technical knowledge.
Once successful, the candidate will then have several face to face interviews with the potential manager, teammates, and other stakeholders either in person or via a video-conferencing software.
We then schedule the Culture Fit interview, during which we see how a candidate’s personal values align with our values as a company, while also giving the candidate a feel for the incredible culture we have here.
This interview is followed by an Executive Review, completed by a member of our Executive team.
Why is it fun to work at your company? Do you offer any employee benefits?
Our company tagline, “love where you’re going,” isn’t just extended to our customers.
We work to ensure all of our employees love where they’re going when they come into work everyday. To this end, we offer extensive employee benefits which can be split into a few different buckets.
First, we want our employees to have the same incredible experiences while traveling as our customers, so we provide GetYourGuide vouchers and a discount on all products.
We also want to give financial support to our employees in the long-term, so we have a company pension scheme, and we award all full-time employees virtual shares, so they feel a part of our success story.
We offer free breakfast every day, twice-weekly yoga sessions, and a reduced membership fee with Urban Sports Club to take care of our employees’ mental and physical wellbeing.
For those who are new to Germany, we also provide convenient ways to learn German.
And finally, we plan biannual team events and company parties to give employees the chance to have fun and connect outside the office.
Do you offer your new employees a relocation service or help to relocate?
Our HR team works with all employees going through relocation to help make the process as smooth as possible.
Depending on the role, we offer various levels of relocation support, from covering the cost of flights, providing reimbursement for moving costs, to finding temporary accommodation.
We also get support from an external relocation service so those new to Berlin have the resources they need to settle in.
How big is your office?
Our current office spaces are 5,500㎡. But, due to our rapid growth, we’re looking forward to moving to a much bigger space this summer in Prenzlauer Berg’s historic Ampere building, which is about 11,700㎡.
Did you get help from an interior designer to design your office? And if so, who did you work together with?
Our internal creative studio has worked incredibly hard to update the branding throughout our offices to match the new brand identity we launched in the Summer of 2018.
We also partnered with various architects and construction companies who delivered exceptional solutions for the office spaces in Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg.
What are the special things in your office?
In each of our offices we have a fully-stocked kitchen with breakfast, fresh fruit, and excellent coffee makers. We also have plenty of casual spaces for employees to have impromptu meetings or take a break from working at their desks.
Each of our offices also features an update area, where we gather for our weekly Friday Updates and monthly Global Updates. These update areas have a stellar sound system and projector so we can follow along with the presentations happening from our global offices.
After-hours, these spaces are great for hosting meetups, movie nights, or even playing some video games.
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