Update: As our esteemed commenters pointed out, we forgot about Vayable! Our bad.
When Betabeat first heard about SideTour, the TechStars startup serving up “authentic experiences” led by “interesting” people (say, Zen tea sessions from a Buddhist monk), we have to admit, our response was: fun idea! Smart dudes! But how big is the market of people who would actually sign up? Apparently bigger than we imagined, which might be why investors and mentors seemed so smitten with the startup.
Now, TechNewsDaily is reporting that a startup called Gidsy out of Berlin’s white hot startup scene has opened in New York City to play in SideTour’s home turf. Gidsy, which bills itself as an “authentic marketplace for tours, activity, and local events” opened in New York yesterday after launching in Berlin last week.
And it already has some support from the Silicon Alley natives. Investor and entrepreneur Mark Birch is hosting a Chinatown Dumpling Tour currently featured on the Gidsy homepage. (N.B.: After Demo Day, Betabeat suggested a similar tour, but in Flushing, to SideTour co-founder Mark Webster. Get on the 7 train, people! It’s where all the good food is hiding.)
Both companies allow users to submit a unique potential tour or activity based on their expertise that is then sold on the startup’s website.
At least according to Crunchbase, Gidsy has yet to acquire funding. Sidetour, on the other hand, raised $1.5 million from RRE and Foundry Group and appears to be putting its focus on getting traction in New York before trying to scale to other cities. In such a new niche, Gidsy’s entry into the New York scene is, more than anything, proof that the market exists.