Romanian gamified tours platform Questo has raised €300,000 in early stage funding to expand into a wider range of cities.
The funding round was led by venture capital funds Sparking Capital and Early Game Ventures.
Questo helps travellers and locals explore destinations by going on tours in game form, called ‘quests’, in which they follow clues and solve challenges to discover new places and stories.
The platform is currently available in 70 cities worldwide and growing, and has ambitions to eventually be available in every city on the planet.
Alex Govoreanu (pictured left), co-founder and chief executive, said: “We’re transforming city exploration into a fun game that’s safe to play on your own.
“For this, we partner with tour operators and storytellers from all around the world, who are creating their own games.
“Our model is so scalable that we could launch Questo in every city of the world. And we’ll probably do that.”
Questo believes COVID-19 will make its platform more attractive to operators because the tours are self-guided and private and so users can avoid large crowds.
In addition the routes of the quests are designed to help users discover less popular places.
Govoreanu added: “Cities are the world’s best playgrounds, but for some reason, most of us are playing indoors.
“With Questo, we are on a mission to change this by working with tour operators and local storytellers worldwide, who are designing their own quests, each with a unique theme.”
The new funding will be used to continue its partnerships with international partners, and to further improve the technology to ensure a “fun and safe city exploration experience” for users.
By the end of 2020, Questo aims to become available in 100 cities.
Vlad Panait, co-founder and general partner at Sparking Capital, said: “We are happy to announce a new investment in a talented founding team and an innovative product, which challenges the status-quo of the classic city travelling via a self-guided tour, delivered through an app.
“Responding to the needs of having an engaging, immersive, private and safe city exploration experience, consumers may explore with Questo app landmarks from all over the world, from Montmartre to Manhattan and from Secret Passage at Chimalistac in Mexico City to the Old Town and Temples of Bangkok.”
Questo said more than 50.000 people played a city exploration game in 2019 while walking more than 200,000 kilometers.
Game can be purchased inside the Questo iOS and Android apps, from www.questoapp.com, and from partners such as TripAdvisor, GetYourGuide or Musement.
Currently, the price per game ranges from €10 to €20 per group of up to four players.