Today, we are excited to announce our investment in Heygo, the live-streaming platform that lets users experience guided tours delivered from hundreds of locations across the world.
We’re proud to be leading this Series A investment of $20 million with the participation of Lightspeed Venture Partners, Point 9 Capital, TQ Ventures, Ascension, the Fund as well as many renowned angels such as Guillaume Pousaz, founder of Checkout, Lawrence Leuschner, founder of Tier, Bastian Lehmann, founder of Postmates, Scott Chacon founder of Github (through SCNE Ventures), Matt Robinson founder of GoCardless and Nested, Richard Mabey founder of Juro, and others who are all backing Heygo to become a leading consumer entertainment destination for shared, live experiences.
Founders John Tertan and Liam Garrison, who have been friends since university, started working on the idea as a side project in April 2020 during the first lockdown in the UK, initially offering curated, pre-recorded travel content. They started testing the idea of live, guided tours in London and quickly realised this format, with the additional human element, generated way more engagement from early users and decided to double down on the concept, adding hundreds of new tours to the platform over the coming months.
Elizabeth, for example, introduces Heygoers to various aspects of life in Peru, from tours of Pre-Inca architecture to a favourite cheese ice cream dessert. She has been guiding tours since 2008, and Heygo gives Elizabeth the opportunity to reach more people doing what she loves. In Japan, Eriko shares cultural traditions as well as peaceful glimpses of nature and daily life. Her tours include exploring city neighbourhoods, walking through a bamboo grove, and visiting a sacred island – all of which may be difficult to accomplish in a single visit to Japan.
Heygo makes world travel available anytime to anyone at a low environmental cost. By expanding the possibilities of tourism, they have established a new entertainment category that will create many business opportunities and consumer applications – from guided tours to creator-led businesses. At Northzone, we’ve been fortunate to work with companies who are translating (and expanding) physical experiences into virtual ones, like event platform Hopin and edtech platform Kahoot!. With only 11% of the world’s population taking part in air travel, we believe that Heygo is doing the same with travel experiences, tackling both access and sustainability.
With immersive tours in 90 countries and counting, Heygo empowers creators to share the places and subjects they know best with people around the world. As of today, Heygo has welcomed users from 179 countries, delivering over 300% growth in bookings this January over last year, and recently hit the 2 million bookings milestone.
“Heygo is one of those exceptional cases where a company has created a service that you feel should have always existed,” adds Michiel Kotting, Partner at Northzone and Board Member. “Their interactive, guided streams are the Twitch equivalent of the hugely popular travel show and documentary genre, creating a new category of immersive world travel from home. John, Liam and their team have provided creators around the world with a powerful medium for self-expression and monetization, while giving audiences hours of transformative entertainment, unlocking experiences that were entirely impossible before.” Way to go, Heygo!