BERLIN, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Getyourguide, one of Berlin's
best-backed travel startups, said on Wednesday it has laid off
90 people, or a sixth of its staff, after the coronavirus
pandemic hit its business of tours and trips.
A spokesman confirmed a report in tech publication
Gruenderszene on the job cuts, which come barely a year and a
half after the company raised nearly $500 million from investors
led by Softbank's Vision Fund.
"As our view of the markets path to recovery has come into
focus, its become clear that it was necessary for us to adapt
our company to the present reality," Getyourguide said.
As well as being forced into a go-slow by the pandemic,
Europe's travel tech industry has chafed at the terms offered by
Google - the search engine it relies on heavily for online
referrals - urging the Alphabet unit to offer more
flexibility on payments until business picks up.
Getyourguide specialises in offering in-destination walking
tours and jump-the-queue tickets to museums and monuments.
Co-founder and chief executive Johannes Reck warned in March
that the coronavirus would plunge travel startups into a
"nuclear winter", but said Getyourguide had the flexibility to
go into hibernation mode until tourism picks up again.
(Reporting by Douglas Busvine
Editing by Tomasz Janowski)