Shawn Hoke/flickr

Shawn Hoke/flickr

The travel app Headout will soon be expanding from New York and Las Vegas to reach a total of 12 U.S. cities, thanks to almost two million dollars in seed funding.

App Market Growing

In the rapidly growing market for mobile apps, the founders of Headout have seized a fantastic opportunity. According to TechCrunch, [tweetable alt=”The @Headout_App #app has secured $1.8 million in seed #funding, says @TechCrunch.” hashtag=””]the app has secured $1.8 million in seed funding,[/tweetable] which will enable it to expand business across the U.S. The sudden windfall has left other app developers wondering if their own big break might be just around the corner.

“Uber for Tours”

Headout bills itself as a mobile concierge, or in other words, an “Uber for tours” that helps users find things like guided tours, activities, and tickets to events in their city. The easy-to-browse app allows you to peruse available concert tickets, helicopter tours, and guided walking tours, or search within other specific categories, like Cruises, After Dark, or Editor’s Choice.

While the app is currently only live in New York and Las Vegas, it already offers almost 500 tours and activities in these cities alone.

With the seed funding, the founders are preparing to expand into San Francisco and Los Angeles within the next month, with plans to reach up to 12 cities by the end of the year, including Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Miami. The app has been so successful thus far that almost 300 vendors are waiting in the wings to be included as the app expands.

Finding Success

The app has far-flung beginnings — Headout was first started in Bangalore under the name Tourlandish, catering to travelers going to and from Asia. According to Dazeinfo, some of the most successful apps are born in Asia — particularly in China, Japan, and South Korea.

After shutting down that app, the founders participated in a 500 Startup accelerator program, as TechCrunch reports, which included companies like Browsy, Acorn, and Balloon.

Every major city has a healthy population of tour companies, but Headout found that these companies weren’t taking advantage of the app market and decided to capitalize on this travel tech gap. As co-founder and CEO Varun Khona told TechCrunch, “Overall, they had built their mobile apps as an afterthought, and the business wasn’t built around the spontaneous or on-demand use case.

We knew there are a lot of folks like us who do not pre-book their holiday activities, and an app meant to do just that in the easiest way possible sounded like an exciting idea to work on.”

The tours and activities offered by Headout have to be tested and approved before being made available on the app to ensure high quality. Vendors can access their information on the app and can change their own offerings or prices as needed.

The sleek tourist tool is free to download, but earns revenue by prompting users to make “in-app” purchases. This follows a trend described by Dazeinfo as “creative pricing” — when apps are free and either offer premium upgrades or in-app purchases.

[tweetable alt=”[email protected]_App builds #revenue by keeping 20% of all ticket sales, and is growing fast.” hashtag=”#apps”]The company, which builds revenue by keeping 20% of all ticket sales, says that business has doubled every month, and this growth shows no sign of slowing down.[/tweetable]Their plans for the future reaches far beyond U.S. cities, and the founders believe their app will one day be used in every major city in the world.

The Next Headout

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