Sydney startup, FreeGuides, launched its first-of-its-kind travel app globally last year.
The global launch was masterminded by Founder Daniel Wasilewsky, direct from his Sydney bedroom. With the FreeGuides already living in Australia and New Zealand, a global audience was always on the cards since the app’s launch in late last year.
The team’s recent $360,000 capital raise helped accelerate the launch and despite setbacks, like Sydney’s lockdown, Wasilewsky was able to orchestrate it virtually alongside his team.
FreeGuides allows anyone to monetize their local knowledge by creating self-guided travel guides which app users can follow in their own time to explore destinations.
How the COVID-19 pandemic shaped the travel App
FreeGuides was inspired by Wasilewsky’s own pre-COVID travels.
He always sought out free walking tours and wanted to tap into local knowledge wherever possible to find the hidden gems travel guides often left out due to social and cultural hype.
“I’m ecstatic that we launched globally, allowing anyone, anywhere across the globe to discover hidden gems and enjoy life-changing experiences. When I started FreeGuides in Sydney, we always had plans to take the app globally as soon as possible.”
“With the impact of COVID it made sense to start locally initially, but now, with the rest of the world continuing to travel and move around, it’s the right time to engage new audiences.”
The global launch also saw the rollout of both FreeGuides’ web app, aimed at Guides who can create experiences online, and the mobile app, aimed at Explorers who can easily use the app.
“We’ve seen huge traction from our global soft launch, which we started in early September.”
“We’ve used this time to encourage international Guides to jump on app.freeguides.com to create experiences. On top of the 210+ experiences we have on the app in Australia
and New Zealand, we’ve so far added an additional 25+ global experiences.”
“We expect that number to grow exponentially now that the full global launch happened.”
Through the free app, on both IOS and Android, users can indulge in self-guided tours curated to their own interests like nature, food & drink, photography, culture, architecture, and more.
For those interested in showing off their neighborhood, FreeGuides empowers locals to capitalize on an underutilized resource and their unique knowledge of their city. It enables anyone to create, run and manage their own experiences while making money.
Global partners insight on the potential of FreeGuides
FreeGuides’ investors including Scalare Partners, Little Fish VC, and Malik Irfan are excited about the launch and the impact FreeGuides will have across the globe.
Malik Irfan, CEO, inQ Innovation Global & Chair of Startups & Innovation, Australia India Business Council (AIBC) had the following remarks on the potential of the App.
“FreeGuides is global, we believe this will be a great enabler for personalized travel experiences which will disrupt the global travel industry as it resets itself post-pandemic.
“I look forward to seeing it being adopted as a perfect travel buddy for the global tourism and travel industry including top tourist destinations and emerging growth markets for all genres.”