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Tourlane GmbH

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Tourlane GmbH
Tourlane logo black.svg
private company (GmbH)
PredecessorAkawy Travel
Founded 📆September 7, 2015; 5 years ago (2015-09-07) in Berlin, Germany
Founders 👔
  • Julian Stiefel
  • Julian Weselek
Headquarters 🏙️,
Area served 🗺️
Key people
  • Julian Stiefel
    (Managing Director)
  • Julian Weselek
    (Managing Director)
  • individual travel
  • adventure travel
OwnersSequoia Capital and others
Number of employees
approx. 120 (2018)
🌐 Websitewww.tourlane.com
📇 Address
📞 telephone

Tourlane is a startup travel agency headquartered in Berlin, Germany.[1] It specializes in individual and adventure travel.[2][3] The company was founded by Julian Stiefel and Julian Weselek in 2015.[4] Tourlane achieved a wider recognition through the investment of Sequoia Capital in December 2018.[5]


In 2015, Julian Stiefel and Julian Weselek founded Akawy Travel, an online travel agency.[6] Previously, Stiefel was responsible for Airbnb's Growth Marketing, while Weselek had worked in the Global Venture Development of Rocket Internet.[7] Akawy Travel's main purpose was to assist clients in booking customized individual and adventure travel,[8] a goal that would continue to be central when, in 2017, the founders changed the company’s name to Tourlane.[9]

In 2017, Tourlane began by primarily concentrating on German-speaking markets.[10] To finance further growth, several investors provided several millions of Euros in a Series A financing round.[11][12][13] In December 2018, however, the company received broader public attention when Sequoia Capital invested in a Series B funding round.[14] Financing from the well-known investor led to widespread public acclaim,[15] with the company becoming a positive example for the development of German start-up companies in the travel industry.[16][17] Tourlane used the additional funds for the optimization of multi-day tours.[18][19]

By March 2018, the company began expanding significantly in both employees and sales.


Tourlane is a private limited company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) under German company law. Its objective is the provision of consulting and other services in the travel market (in particular, the planning, booking, sale and/or procurement of trips). The company is represented by one or more managing directors; currently, these are Julian Stiefel and Julian Weselek. Alongside, the advisory board controls and advises the management team.[20]

As of March 2019, there are thirteen institutional investors, including: DN Capital, Founders First Capital, Holtzbrinck Ventures, Humboldt Ventures, Monkfish Equity, Sequoia Capital, and Spark Capital. One of three private investors is Nathan Blecharczyk.[21]


Tourlane is a customizable online specialty travel portal. The core of the website is based on an input field with travel destinations across the globe. The customer picks a country that they would like to travel to; the website then asks for specific details, including number of travelers, duration of the trip, accommodation, and activities on the ground, including holiday activities such as hiking or safari travel. An individual offer is created from the information provided by customers.[22]

Tourlane’s proprietary software platform includes real time pricing, availability, instant trip visualization, and drag-and-drop adjustments that make multi-day planning easy. Contrary to other travel agencies, who primarily offer offline support, Tourlane is unique in being one of the first companies to offer online customization and optimization options to its customers. Also, does not rely on artificial intelligence, but rather on human consultants.[23] These make up the majority of the company’s employees.[24]


  1. "Tourlane". Crunchbase. Techcrunch. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  2. Zentek, Jule (July 24, 2017). "Reise-Start-ups: Mit einem Klick im Urlaub". WirtschaftsWoche (in Deutsch). Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  3. Hüsing, Alexander (July 18, 2017). "Tourlane: Maßgeschneiderte Traumreisen. Kunden sparen Zeit und Aufwand". Deutsche Startups. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  4. Hofmann, Alex (December 21, 2018). "Wie Tourlane zum Sequoia-Investment kam". Gründerszene (in Deutsch). Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  5. "Tourlane und das Investment des Jahres". Deutsche Startups (in Deutsch). January 4, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  6. "Akawy Travel UG (haftungsbeschränkt)". Company Register. Bundesanzeiger Verlag. September 7, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  7. "Reiseplaner Akawy wirft seinen Namen über Bord". Deutsche Startups (in Deutsch). July 3, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  8. Hüsing, Alexander (February 8, 2017). "Zwei Berliner wollen die Reiseberatung wachrütteln". Deutsche Startups (in Deutsch). Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  9. "Reiseplaner Akawy wirft seinen Namen über Bord". Deutsche Startups (in Deutsch). July 3, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  10. "Tourlane" (in Deutsch). Archived from the original on June 15, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  11. "Berliner Start-up Tourlane: Airbnb-Gründer investiert". fvw (in Deutsch). July 5, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  12. Ksienrzyk, Lisa (March 22, 2018). "Sieben Millionen Euro für Reise-Startup Tourlane". Gründerszene (in Deutsch). Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  13. "Tourlane: Neue Investoren buchen sich beim Reisevermittler ein". WirtschaftsWoche (in Deutsch). March 22, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  14. Rixecker, Kim (December 9, 2018). "21 Millionen Euro: US-Investor Sequoia steigt bei Tourlane ein". t3n (in Deutsch). Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  15. "Tourlane: Investition in das Individualreise-Portal". WirtschaftsWoche (in Deutsch). December 6, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  16. Hüsing, Alexander (December 5, 2018). "Ritterschlag für Tourlane: Sequoia investiert 24 Millionen in Berliner Travel-Startup". Deutsche Startups (in Deutsch). Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  17. O'Neill, Sean (December 28, 2018). "Germany Makes Strides to Become 'Europe's Silicon Valley' for Travel Startups". Skift. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  18. O'Neill, Sean (December 7, 2018). "Tourlane Raises $24 Million for Multi-Day Tour Booking: Travel Startup Funding This Week". Skift. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  19. "Berlin-Based Travel Startup Tourlane Grabs $24m Funding, Plans Multi-Day Tour Booking". Silicon Canals. December 10, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  20. "Articles of Association". Company Register. Bundesanzeiger Verlag. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  21. "List of Shareholders". Company Register. Bundesanzeiger Verlag. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  22. Reed, Andrew (December 6, 2018). "Taking Flight with Tourlane: Bringing Specialty Travel Online". Medium. Sequoia Capital. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  23. Räth, Georg (April 10, 2019). "Experten für die flexible Individualreise". Die Welt (in Deutsch). p. 25.
  24. Voss, Oliver (December 8, 2018). "Berliner Start-up kauft US-Konkurrenten". Der Tagesspiegel (in Deutsch). p. 22.

External links[edit]

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