Musement acquired by travel giant TUI Group
- Musement's tech assets and supply will be accessible to TUI’s 20 million customer base of travelers
- The acquisition represents the most important exit in the Italian tech travel sector in 10 years
- P101, 360 Capital Partners, Micheli Associati and Italian Angels for Growth have supported Musement
- Musement will operate as an independent business unit within TUI Destination Experiences
Milan, 14 September 2018
Musement, the global tours and attractions discovery service and one of the major Italian digital companies, has today announced the acquisition by the German giant TUI Group. The company, led by its founders, along with the entire team, will be managed as an independent business unit within TUI Destination Experiences, the TUI Group subsidiary dedicated to the Tours & Activities segment, which operates in 49 countries worldwide. The deal represents the most important exit in the Italian tech travel sector in the last decade and marks a strategic move in the global market of experiences, which today is worth 150 billion euros, with a annual growth rate of 7%.
With a global portfolio of tens of thousands of activities in 1,100 cities around the world - ranging from admission tickets for museums, events and attractions via guided tours all the way to boat and bicycle tours - Musement has helped to innovate the global tours&activities scenario and reach one million users monthly. The company is also a certified Great Place To Work® , with 130 employees.
The deal will strengthen both sides, thanks to a perfect match of complementary assets. By joining the TUI Group, Musement will have access to 20 million customers, and be able to take advantage of great on-ground operational capabilities and suppliers’ relationship in sun & beach destinations, currently not covered by the service, as well as being able to rely on the reputation of a globally trusted brand. TUI and its TUI Destination Experiences subsidiary will have access to Musement’s tech assets, advanced digital skills and a wide range of experiences in multiple cities all over the world.
The tours and activities market of suppliers is still highly fragmented. More than 90 percent of the around 350,000 companies are small providers generating annual revenues of less than one million euros, almost exclusively depending on one-off customers. Musement’s online platform serves precisely these small companies by providing them with a digital market place to allow fast and simple presentation of their products.
In a sector where most money has been spent on not-always-profitable customer acquisition, Musement has focused its efforts on creating a differentiated tech stack and suppliers’ base. In just over 5 years since its foundation, Musement has created an advanced tech platform encompassing all the elements of the tech value chain of the Tours & Activities sector, focusing not only on the offer to end users, with the development of their own app and site for booking experiences, but also on multiple solutions specifically designed for their network of suppliers, in order to ease the digital transformation of this market. Those include a ticketing solution and access control tech, an easy-to-use self-service platform for suppliers to upload their products and make them bookable online, along with multiple B2B2C distribution solutions for both online and offline players, such as platform for offline travel agencies, self-customizable widgets, white label solutions and full merchant APIs. The company has also focused on the technological development of the product, developing a backend platform for the automatic creation of complex tours and itineraries around points of interests and locations, and machine learning solutions for dynamic pricing and relevance. This has been complemented with over 35,000 bookable products from thousand of suppliers in different verticals.
“We are aiming to provide the most highly personalised experiences possible to our 20 million customers. This will require a stronger digitalisation of our business. For me, digitalisation and personalisation are therefore inextricably linked and constitute the key success factors for the future of tourism. With the acquisition of Musement, we are taking a further crucial step in this direction,” said Fritz Joussen, CEO TUI Group.
"We are thrilled to be part of one of the largest groups on the travel market globally: this exit is an important milestone for Italian innovation and recognition for the great work done together with the other co-founders, Claudio Bellinzona, Paolo Giulini and Fabio Zecchini, in these five years. This opens new opportunities for us to first of all better monetize our technology and our offer by accessing the huge TUI’s customer base and take advantage in terms of acquisition costs, as well as also potentially vastly expand Musement B2B2C strategic distribution relationships.”commented Alessandro Petazzi, co-founder and CEO Musement. "A special thanks goes to 360 Capital Partners, Micheli Associati, P101 and IAG, who have supported the growth of Musement in the last five years with professionalism and enthusiasm. Musement is an example of how even in Italy the best venture capitalists can help to create and fund innovative companies, leaders in their sector, able to attract foreign capital and create jobs for the benefit of our most qualified young people. Thanks to the funds obtained, we have been able to accelerate our growth operations and the development of technological assets, which have played a key role in the acquisition."
The company has raised a total of 15 million euros in five years. Investors include the American fund Interwest Capital.
"Since its foundation, one of Musement’s main focus has been the development of advanced technologies that would drive innovation across the travel industry. Ranging from digital services to suppliers, all the way through the long journey of making tickets printless, up to the latest implementations in the world of machine learning and artificial intelligence, we have always tried to create a cutting-edge product for our end customers and simplify suppliers processes. If I think about tech giants based in Asia or Silicon Valley, we are even more proud of having achieved this goal in Italy with our international team, making a great impact on the entire operation" added Fabio Zecchini, CTO and co-founder Musement.
Musement is a travel companion and personal digital concierge service for tourist activities and bookings around the world, now available in over 1000 destinations and 70 countries. The service was created with the idea of helping travelers discover and book experiences, wherever they go, giving them access to a world of activities and making them feel like in their own city. Musement offers content and booking options in more categories - from museums and guided tours to food and wine experiences through different touchpoints: the websites and the B2C apps of Triposo and Musement and the joint B2B APIs. Musement is based in Milan (HQ), Barcelona, Dubai, London, New York, Paris and Amsterdam. Musement is certified Great Place To Work® and is present in the top 20 of Best Workplaces® in Italy. Musement is available in 8 languages: English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian and Dutch on www.musement.com, iOS and Android.
About 360 Capital Partners
360 Capital Partners is a Venture Capital firm investing in innovative deep-tech & digital enterprises across Europe. The firm has a 20-year track record of supporting talented tech entrepreneurs in developing ambitious & disruptive companies in a variety of sectors. Led by a diverse and experienced team of professionals located in Paris and Milan, 360 Capital Partners has €300M of assets under management and an active portfolio of over 50 companies.
About Micheli Associati
Micheli Associati is a holding company owned by an established Italian family of entrepreneurs. Micheli Associati undertakes a wide range of investment activities including early stage and venture capital investments.
P101 SGR is a Milan-based venture capital firm investing in digital and technology-driven companies. Founded in 2013, with currently almost 130 million Euros in assets under management and 26 portfolio companies, P101 stands out for its capacity to provide the next generation of entrepreneurs not only with funding, but also with mentorship, skills and services that can boost the development and international growth of companies. P101 was launched by Andrea Di Camillo, who has 20 years’ experience as a venture capital investor and is one of the founders of the Italian companies Banzai and Vitaminic. P101 is supported by institutional investors such as Azimut, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento, European Investment Fund. P101 portfolio includes companies such as BorsadelCredito.it, Cortilia, Tannico, Musement and MusiXmatch. Overall, P101 portfolio companies employ more than 700 people and have a constantly growing turnover of more than 110 million Euros. The name P101 refers to the first personal computer being produced on a large scale by Olivetti in 1960s: an example of Italian innovation making its way into the history of digital technology.