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While many companies have come and gone trying to build online booking platforms for the tours and activities market, Peek has hung in there by developing both the back-end infrastructure and consumer-facing marketplace to connect buyers and sellers.
This fall, Peek raised another $10 million in a Series A funding round.
During the Skift Global Forum 2016 in New York City in September, Skift CEO and founder Rafat Ali sat down with Ruzwana Bashir, CEO and co-founder of Peek.
Bashir emphasized that tours and activities is a $100 billion global market, and yet less than one percent of that business is being sold by the industry’s top three resellers today. The big challenge is real-time inventory. About 75 percent of consumers book activities in a six-hour window, but more than 80 percent of tour operators don’t have real-time online booking capabilities.
Seeing such a delta between online supply and demand, Peek launched in 2012 as a reseller platform for tour operators to manage, sell, and track their product online, with a vision to leverage the rise of in-destination mobile bookings for travelers on the go.
“It was a mixture of product as well as timing,” Bashir said. “We embraced mobile, and we did a good job of actually seeing the opportunity for helping operators get online.”
Peek’s value is giving utility to tour operators, much like OpenTable does for restaurants, especially for businesses operating in difficult locations. Bashir gave an example where a zipline company can have customers sign waivers on an iPhone in the middle of a rainforest canopy, with all of the information saved in the cloud indefinitely.
Looking ahead on the consumer side, Peek is working toward helping travelers better personalize the search and booking experience. On the industry side, the company is focused on partnering with more tour operators to build a deeper inventory of more local experiences on the Peek Professional network.
“It’s so fragmented right now,” said Bashir. “There’s an opportunity for everybody to sell more of these activities online, but they need to know what’s available, and Peek Pro provides that.”
You can watch the full interview, below.
Read more coverage of Skift Global Forum 2016.
At this year’s Skift Global Forum in New York City, travel leaders from around the world gathered for two days of inspiration, information, and conversation for panels such as this as well as solo TED-like talks on the future of travel.