Audio-based tour guide platform WeTrek plans to expand to Miami and beyond

Solo traveler? You’re not alone. There’s a new company in town that can help you get around Miami with a view to global expansion.

WeTrek, a Miami-based startup that was founded just before the pandemic hit, has developed a platform that acts as an information hub for tourists. The idea is that, through their app, travelers can discover hidden gems and experience their destination like a local at their own pace.

Last December, WeTrek was launched in partnership with the Wynwood Business Improvement District. The app includes audio tours that are triggered by a user’s movement through their device’s GPS. “It’s like having your own personal guide,” said Calex Guimarães, CEO and co-founder of WeTrek.

Calex Guimarães, CEO and co-founder of WeTrek

Local “hacks” are also available on the app in the form of social media-style stories. Users can browse short snack images and videos to discover the best tips and tricks about a particular destination. All of this content is available in multiple languages. Miami content is currently provided in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

WeTrek raises seed money

Destination travel app WeTrek just announced a round of seed funding from CVC Corp, Latin America’s largest tour operator. With this funding, WeTrek plans to expand to five other major cities in the United States and Latin America.

Guimarães told Refresh Miami that the startup is targeting small and medium-sized towns. “These places are ideal because they have a lot of tourism, but lack the infrastructure of big cities like London or Paris.”

Although the exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed, Guimarães explained that CVC Corp held a minority stake with the option to acquire full control of the company in four to five years.

The main advantage of engaging with CVC Corp is its massive consumer base, as the Brazilian company sells over 10 million tickets a year. It’s clearly a good bet for WeTrek, which hopes to quickly expand its user base. But it’s also good business for CVC Corp, according to Guimarães, as the travel agency looks for ways to be able to continue to interact with its customers once they arrive at their destination.

The business model

There are different sources of income for WeTrek. On the one hand, the startup receives a commission on the third-party tickets it sells through its platform (think guided tours and tourist bus trips). Some tours are free while others require a small payment.

WeTrek reported that it is also considering potentially creating ad-supported content. The startup is also in talks with some brands to create unique experiences for its users. While the details of these potential partnerships are under wraps, Guimarães hinted that they were in discussion with some major players in the adult beverage industry.

Guimarães is an advertising industry veteran, having served as an executive at WPP for 10 years. Passionate about podcasting and audio listening, he was particularly keen to deploy this format for tourism purposes. Guimarães expressed excitement about creating an ecosystem with “creators, local businesses, and travelers all benefiting from the platform.”

For Guimarães, it was also a great time to start a tech business in Miami. “The growth of Miami’s tech scene has been impressive,” he said. “It’s here to stay,” he said, adding the mild caveat that it’s critically important for the city to further develop its education sector and talent pool. The 12-person company is doubling its workforce in Miami and has started hiring for a variety of new roles, including social media strategist.

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Riley Kaminer
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