Peek, a U.S. startup aiming to digitize the travel activities industry, has pulled a $23 million Series B round of financing and uncorked a partnership with Google that will help increase its visibility. Founded in 2012 by Ruzwana Bashir (CEO) and Oskar Bruening (CTO), the San Francisco-based startup describes itself as “OpenTable for the activities market” in that it aims to make booking activities as seamless and straightforward as a restaurant or even a flight.
How Peek's Ruzwana Bashir Became Silicon Valley's Favorite British Import
The first time Ruzwana Bashir wore Western clothes was when she started as a student at Oxford University. Until then Bashir, who grew up in a tight-knit Pakistani community in northern England, wore a long shalwar kameez and a traditional Muslim head scarf every day. “I was very different from others around me when it came to my race, gender, and class,” Bashir says.
Inspiration That Comes From Anywhere
"My ideas come in lots of different scenarios," says Ruzwana Bashir, founder and CEO of travel company Peek. Her still-young startup is based in the idea that great travel involves finding offbeat paths--a philosophy she uses in daily inspiration, as well. Bashir, a self-proclaimed workaholic, doesn't need to slow down to get inspired. Whether on a plane or in a meeting, sometimes ideas just click. "I think a lot of my inspiration might come from utilizing something I see someone else doing in an entirely different space, and seeing how it might apply to Peek and what we're doing," she says.
Peek Acts as Mobile Concierge to Help You Book Adventures on the Go
When you’re planning a vacation and want to book a flight or hotel, you’ve got multiple sites like Expedia, Kayak or Orbitz that can help. But when you’re trying to figure out what to do on your trip, where do you go? Probably a million different places to a) research companies, b) compare prices and c) book a tour or lesson – that is, if the business is even online. Peek (not to be confused with the calendaring app of the same name) is trying to solve that problem with its one-stop-shop activity booking site. Co-founded by CEO Ruzwana Bashir and CTO Oskar Bruening, Peek helps you discover things to do in a city, from wine tours to skydiving to museum visits, and allows you to book tickets directly from the site.
Peek CEO Ruzwana Bashir on CNBC
Peek.com Raises $5 Million in New Financing
Start-ups like Uber and Airbnb have succeeded in moving traditionally offline businesses like taxis and apartment subletting to the Internet. Now Peek.com, which is aiming to do the same for planning travel itineraries, has gotten a little more help in reaching that goal. The start-up plans to announce on Wednesday that it has raised $5 million in a new fund-raising round, taking money from the likes of Brad Gerstner of Altimeter Capital and Jeff Fluhr, a co-founder of StubHub. They are joining a group that already includes prominent technology veterans like Eric Schmidt of Google and Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square, many of whom reinvested in the round.
Travel Activity Startup Peek Raises $5 Million In Funding From Montage Ventures And Others
Aspiration travel startup Peek launched a little more than a year ago to offer interesting activities for travelers. Since then it’s expanded to 19 different locations and signed up thousands of activity vendors. But it’s looking to scale up even faster with $5 million in new funding led by Todd Kimmel and Montage Ventures. Peek seeks to set itself apart from other travel sites by actually providing a variety of activities that can be booked online or through its recently released iPhone app. It provides real-time inventory of events and manages payment processing and scheduling, simplifying the process of connecting travellers and vendors.