How Aussie turned simple app idea into $2.5 million company
While on his travels, Daniel noticed a glaring issue at every place he visited. Now he’s turned his solution into a $2.5 million idea – and is helping others get in on the profits.
Daniel Wasilewsky, like many young Aussies, spent the better part of his early 20s travelling around the world.
But for every country and place the 25-year-old visited, he began to realise a glaring issue.
“I was at uni and I’ve always loved travelling and obviously I was paying for myself so I wanted to do it in the best and cheapest way,” Mr Wasilewsky told news.com.au.
“I’d always go onto Google and search for free walking tours and I loved it.”
On a two-week trip to New York City, where Mr Wasilewsky had a lot of time to himself, he ended up going on eight of the 18 free walking tours on offer there. On the walking tours, people were asked to just pay what they wanted.
“I loved the idea of paying what you want for an experience,” he said.
Walking tour online marketplace created
After realising the guides running the walking tours didn’t need any qualifications – just a passion for their local area or city – Mr Wasilewsky had the idea to create a marketplace for free walking tours, where guides could monetise their knowledge.
Guides offer services and knowledge through the app while travellers use it, paying what they believe it was worth at the end of the experience.
But in April 2020, plans to launch the app FreeGuides were dashed when the coronavirus pandemic brought global travel to a grinding halt.
It was an idea to make tours virtual which salvaged the app, and now, more than a year on, FreeGuides is going from strength to strength with more than 200 guides offering hundreds of experiences in nature, food and drink, photography, culture and architecture.
Global investors get on board
The app is available in 10 countries, but has experiences pending in another 27 countries; the company is seeing a lot of growth in Portugal and Spain in Europe and the Philippines and India in Asia.
So FreeGuides quickly attracted attention from global investors.
A recent round of revenue raising saw the FreeGuides team given $360,000 in funding and the company is valued at a massive $2.5 million.