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Questo, a Romanian app for gamified city exploration, attracts €1.2M and will grow in the US and the UK

Questo founders
Image credit: Questo
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Questo, a mobile platform for game-based city exploration, headquartered in Bucharest, has closed a €1.2M ($1.5M) round, led by Early Game Ventures and joined by Sparking Capital, both previous investors in the company. In the past year, the travel tech venture has grown to have covered over 100 cities on four continents, with over 100, 000 players joining the adventures. The World Tourism Organization also gave Questo an award in the category for Disruptive Hospitality. Now, the new funding will enable Questo to accelerate its expansion around the world, with a specific focus on the UK and the US – the target being 200 cities by the end of the year.

In practice, Questo turns cities into playgrounds – tourists and residents alike can follow clues, unlock new places and solve riddles while learning more about the locations and their history. For example, you can explore Paris as Picasso or London as Sherlock Holmes. Games are built in collaboration with locals or tour operators. Prices of most quests available on the platform range between €8 and €20 and game creators receive from 10% to 70% of the generated profits.

Alex Govoreanu, co-founder and CEO at Questo shares that the company combines storytelling and game design to teleport people to a fictional world where everyone gets to enjoy their time in the city. 

For Cristian Munteanu, managing partner at Early Game Ventures, among the main factors for the firm’s follow-on investment are global scalability, great traction in times of pandemic, and high in-app engagement. Vlad Panait, managing partner at Sparking Capital adds that Questo has built an infrastructure that can enable the company to achieve exponential growth once the tourism industry starts recovering.

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Etien Yovchev is a co-founder and Chief Editor at The Recursive, online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. He has told the stories of over 200 ventures from the region and aims to provide high-quality constructive reporting on the progress of the SEE innovation ecosystem, making sure that the stories of promising local founders reach global audiences. Etien holds a MSc degree in Innovation Management from RSM, Erasmus University Rotterdam and has more than 4 years of experience in the commercialization of new products, having worked with many early-stage companies and a few corporate innovation departments across Bulgaria, The Netherlands, and the USA.