Gidsy has been the subject of plenty of chatter in certain quarters of the European startup scene in recent months and today it launches its public beta.
Opening up today in its native Berlin, and expanding to New York next week, Gidsy takes the idea behind AirBnB (a peer-to-peer marketplace for accommodation) and translates it to hosted ‘experiences’. It lets anyone advertise their own activities, or search for and book all sorts of things, from photography workshops to life drawing classes, to parties.
If you’re organising an activity, you simply enter all the relevant details to create your listing and then Gidsy handles the booking process, payment by attendees, online visibility, promotions, cancellation policies and customer support. Listing events is free, but Gidsy takes a 10% fee from each booking made through its system.
Gidsy aims to become a destination, not just for people hosting events, but for those looking for something to do, too. To that end, it has a beautiful interface for browsing events and event a style guide to help organisers. Even the style guide is gorgeous.
While AirBnB disrupted a large industry, Gidsy has the potential to disrupt lots of small ones – from piano teachers to tour guides. In fact, the startup is targeting experiences run by individuals, rather than businesses. This is all about the long tail of events and classes that have been difficult to advertise effectively online until now.
Gidsy is starting small with a focus on just Berlin, but New York City will follow on 10 November. There it will be up against SideTour, a similar service which is already established there and charges a higher fee, 20% of each transaction. Gidsy’s sense of style could also give it something of an edge. UPDATE: There’s also Vayable, available in six cities in the world and taking a similar approach and charging a 15% fee.
As Gidsy gradually expands its reach, this is definitely a service to look keep an eye on.
You can find out more at gidsy.com.