Sydney startup, FreeGuides.com, has just launched its first-of-its-kind travel app globally. With FreeGuides already live in Australia and New Zealand, a global audience was always on the cards since the app’s launch in late 2020. The team’s recent $360,000 capital raise has helped accelerate the launch and despite setbacks, like Sydney’s lockdown, Founder Daniel Wasilewsky has been able to orchestrate the launch virtually alongside his team based in Sydney and across the globe.
FreeGuides allows anyone to monetise their local knowledge by creating self-guided travel guides which app users can follow in their own time to explore destinations. 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.
I’m ecstatic that we’re now launching globally, allowing anyone, anywhere to discover hidden gems and enjoy life-changing experiences. When I started FreeGuides in Sydney, we always had plans to take the app global 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,” says Wasilewsky.
The global launch will see the roll out of both FreeGuides’ webapp, aimed at Guides who can create experiences online, and the mobile app, aimed at Explorers who can easily use the app and enjoy the experiences when travelling.
“We’ve seen huge traction from our global soft launch, which we started in early-September. We’ve been using 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 throughout six countries created by 22 guides,” says Wasilewsky. “We expect that number to grow exponentially once the full global launch happens.”
Through the free app, which runs on both IOS and Android, users can indulge in self-guided tours curated to their own interests – whether that’s nature, food & drink, photography, culture, architecture, and more.
For those interested in showing off their neighbourhood, FreeGuides empowers locals to capitalise on an underutilised resource – their unique knowledge of their city. It enables anyone to create, run and manage their own experiences while making money.
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) says, “It’s exciting to know that FreeGuides is going global! We believe this will be a great enabler for personalised travel experiences which will disrupt the global travel industry as it resets itself post-pandemic with the new norm. I look forward to seeing FreeGuides 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”
FreeGuides is available for free download on IOS and Android.