Peek survived the pandemic when so many tours and activities' operators went into hibernation or worse, and now it has another $80 million in the bank for expansion. With business-to-business software as hot as it is, that's not a bad place to be.
Peek, the San Francisco-based tours and activities software vendor and booking website, attracted $80 million in new funding led by former Airbnb Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi’s WestCap with an assist from Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
The Series C round, which Peek plans to use to triple its employee roster to around 450 and to further develop its Peek Pro software, brings Peek’s total funding since its founding nine years ago to around $120 million.
In addition to the funding itself, Peek co-founder and CEO Ruzwana Bashir said the company saw value in WestCap’s track record in nourishing marketplace and travel companies, including investments in Sonder, Hopper StubHub, and Airbnb. In addition to WestCap and Goldman, other participants in the round included 3L, Cathay Innovation, 12BF Global Ventures, Manta Ray, and Apeiron.
Bashir declined to disclose Peek’s valuation, but said the company is profitable although it plans to invest in growth. In addition to a widespread increase across businesses in digitalization, Bashir said another opportunity that the pandemic spawned is that companies such as Google, Spotify and Netflix are interested in doing offsite experiences for their employees because of the remote work trend.
“In a remote-first world, that’s needed and there’s a lot of demand there,” Bashir said.
Peek competes with a multitude of software vendors in the highly competitive experiences’ space. Operator subscribers to its Peek Pro software get access to tools enabling inventory management, dynamic pricing, and marketing analytics.
The funding announcement cited clients including the Museum of Ice Cream, Artechouse and Pennekamp State Park as among those using Peek software.
Tosi said WestCap recognizes that founders don’t just need funding, but benefit from partners who know how to build businesses and compete.
“Our focus is to work side-by-side with the Peek.com team to scale the platform, diversify the offering, and seize the opportunity,” Tosi said. “To do this, we’ll be utilizing the WestCap operating platform of resources from product to business development.”
Tosi’s departure from Airbnb in 2018 wasn’t the smoothest. He noted that two of WestCap’s portfolio companies, Sonder and BlueGround, are Airbnb partners.
Asked whether WestCap funding Peek would be a hindrance to Peek working with Airbnb Experiences, Tosi said in part: “There is definitely a world in which Peek.com could be a source of tour providers to Airbnb Experiences, just as Sonder and Blueground are two of Airbnb’s biggest sources for supply to the homes part of their business.”
Photo credit: The Color Factory is a Peek software client.