Peek CEO Ruzwana Bashir isn’t looking for an exit and instead says she wants to be the biggest independent company providing operating systems for tours and expenses businesses.
Peek, a San Francisco-based tours and activities software vendor, is launching two artificial intelligence data features for its tour operator customers.
Set for release in the first quarter of 2024, Peek’s AI Analyst and AI Strategist tools will analyze operator behavior and usage patterns to identify missed sales opportunities, said CEO and co-founder Ruzwana Bashir. The tools will also recommend ways to improve booking and operational efficiency.
“AI is really valuable with a large amount of data, which Peek has around transactions and customer demographics to increase revenue,” said Bashir.
Founded a decade ago, Peek aims to streamline the selling of tours and activities. It’s one of the prominent players in the experiences and attractions operating and reservations tech space that has yet to be acquired — unlike Bokun, which was bought by Tripadvisor, and Fareharbor, which Booking Holdings bought.
Bashir stated she had no time to wonder if another company might buy Peek.
“You do that [consider an acquisition] if you’re at the point where you feel like you’ve done everything you can do,” said Bashir. “We’re still in the building phase. We’re in high growth.”
Bashir said the company continues to use its recent funding to invest in being the “biggest independent company providing operating systems for tours and experiences businesses.”
Tools to Grow Operator Revenue
Bashir said clients of Peek’s operating software called Peek Pro see an average 30% increase in revenue. Top clients include Bryant Park, Museum of Ice Cream, and Artechouse (all in New York), Pennekamp State Park (Florida) and the Basquiat Exhibition (Los Angeles). The platform offers over 250,000 local activities in North America.
While experience marketplaces are focused on sustaining high take rates (an average of 20% to 35%), Peek uses a single-digit percentage commission model, regardless of whether operators are a major museum attraction or a smaller tour operator.
The startup has “$1 billion in annual bookings and is growing,” said Bashir, with more than 10 million customers in 2023.
Peek’s combined development team of 100 product managers, designers, and engineers has focused on AI product development. The team “releases hundreds of features” each year, such as dynamic pricing, Peek’s tipping tool, and the AI analyst and strategist tools.
Bashir added that “most” of its operators used Peek Protect, another feature offering flexibility for customers to cancel anytime.
A Deep Dive into Tours, Activities and Experiences 2023
The tours, activities, and experiences market is a lucrative and underexplored opportunity in the travel industry. Its high fragmentation, influx of small suppliers, and rapid shift from offline to online makes it a goldmine for online intermediaries to gain market share from traditional offline players.
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Photo credit: People ice-skating in Bryant Park, New York City. Johnell Pannell, Unsplash / Unsplash