Travel

Exclusive: Peek Could Be North America's Next Travel Unicorn – Forbes


Ruzwana Bashir, CEO and co-founder of Peek.

Courtesy of Peek

Peek founder and CEO, Ruzwana Bashir, has been named to Forbes 30 Under 30, Vanity Fair New Establishment, Marie Claire New Guard, Inc 30 under 30, and the list goes on. Except Bashir is focused on becoming the next unicorn CEO. The Oxford and Harvard Business School graduate-turned-tech CEO to hear intends to turn Peek.com into the next unicorn of the

$150 billion global travel sector.

Bashir’s passion for travel and understanding of consumer behaviors after working at Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and Gilt Groupe led her to the idea for Peek. Peek is on a  mission to connect the world through experiences. As a two-sided marketplace: it helps consumers book the best experiences while also empowering tour operators to automate their businesses and grow their revenues by an average of 30 percent. More than 8 million activities lasting over 1.4 billion hours have been booked on the platform. The company has won several awards for innovation, including the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award alongside Airbnb and Rent the Runway, and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Travel Award.

Co-founders of Peek, Ruzwana Bashir and Oskar Bruening

Courtesy of Peek

Consumers flock to Peek because of how easy the booking experience is whether they are on vacation or at home. You can find everything from taking a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, swimming with pigs in the Bahamas, or learning how to cook Creole classics in New Orleans. Peek has built up the largest selection of experiences in America with an inventory of more than 20,000 local experiences and over 800,000 verified user reviews, all with an average rating of 4.8 stars. Activity providers also love Peek because it automates both their back-end and customer-facing technology needs, freeing them to focus on the part of their businesses that they love: creating memorable experiences.

Peek is expanding its product offering with a new update, Peek Pro. The update has more than 50 new feature updates to help travel operators scale their businesses even faster including created an unbelievably powerful and flexible payment system for partners, and a POS (point of sale system) to make the guest experience seamless and intuitive. Peek Pro will significantly improve operators’ abilities to drive more bookings while providing an even better customer experience. It also means Peek operators can run their whole businesses a mobile phone.

With travel experiences are already a $150+ billion industry and are expected to increase to $183  billion in 2020, Bashir is betting on Peek to become the next travel unicorn. “What travelers spend on tours, activities, attractions, and events account for 10 percent of global travel revenue — more than they spend on trains, car rentals, and cruises. The US accounts for about $34 billion of the global travel market. Peek.com has more experiences, more reviews and higher quality reviews than any and higher quality reviews than any other marketplace in the US. We even have on average 40 percent more reviews per activity than any other platform. We are unique because we have real-time availability for all of our activities (no other company provides this) which is especially important since 75 percent of activities are booked the day before or on the

same day as the activity,” explains Bashir on why Peek is on its way to becoming a Unicorn.

Peek is also different than the other leading travel experience platforms in the US because they provide solutions to both tour operators and consumers. Other major travel platforms only sell to consumers or offer software to businesses. “We serve bit the consumer and the operators which enables us to provide transformative value to our tour operator customers. On average businesses grow their revenues by 30% on our platform and greatly enhance their customer experience. This is why our tour operator retention rate is 99 percent,” shares Bashir.

Peek has raised $40 million to date from key investors such as former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, Kayak founder Paul English, Trulia, and NFX founder Pete Flint and former Yelp COO Geoff Donaker. With the some of the biggest players in tech and travel backing up Bashir, Peek transforming into a unicorn is nearly on the horizon.

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