Surfing in Portugal. Whitewater rafting in Colorado. Trekking in Nepal.
Travelers can do all of this with the help of AdventureLocals, a Telluride-based company that sets up activity-based trips with local guides around the world.
Founded in fall 2018, the company raised $62,500 last month, according to an SEC filing.
AdventureLocals offers five destinations. Each multiday trip includes lodging, with prices starting at $340 per person (travel to the destination is not included).
“We want to double every year,” CEO Charlie Cohn said. “By the fifth year (2023), we want to have 64 destinations but multiple trips.”
The funds raised in December will be used to build out technology, offer more trips and destinations, market the company and pay its four employees, Cohn said.
Four more destinations will be available to travelers in March, he said. These include caving in Vietnam, mountain biking in Greece, sailing in Norway and ski touring in the Republic of Georgia.
There are 24 additional tour operators interested in working with AdventureLocals. Cohn said he and his team vet each operator and guide to make sure they’re a good fit for the company.
“In our past experiences, we realize it’s really easy to book the wrong trip. That’s the biggest fear travelers have. … Through our travels ourselves, we have a good ability to figure out if they are the real deal or just another guide that’s lying,” he said.
AdventureLocals also launched a new website this month. Unlike most travel agency websites, AdventureLocals’ website allows travelers to input their interests, then suggests potential trips. Other sites ask users to select a destination first.
Until more trips are added, users select between surfing, trekking or rafting. Then they set a cost, maximum number of days, season and difficulty level. People also can indicate if they want a solo, group or private trip.
“It will get more exact and more personalized as we add destinations,” Cohn said.
Cohn and his brother Jake started AdventureLocals as a complement to their other travel business, SnowLocals. Founded in 2011, SnowLocals specializes in ski or snowboarding excursions in Japan and, similar to AdventureLocals, the company pairs travelers with local guides.
Although SnowLocals is profitable, Cohn said it’s hard to scale the company because the snow season ends in March. This led the brothers to form AdventureLocals.
In the future, AdventureLocals will add Japan to the list of destinations and add one-day trips. The first day trip added will be canyoning in Switzerland, but Cohn said he wants to learn more about his customers before adding this option to the website.