New York-stationed startup Tastemakers has accumulated a $1.4 million seed-round—led Precursor Ventures—for its enterprise that links Africa adventures to global shoppers.
Tastemakers’ platform ministers, prices, and lists African travel and cultural activities—from paragliding tours to wine-tasting to concerts.
The startup makes revenues by taking a 20% fee on every transaction. Community managers in Africa screen and choose activities that go up on the site.
Tastemakers will use the funding to develop the number of experiences provided from 200 to 10,000 and build out machine learning capabilities to higher match suppliers, experiences, and clients—said CEO and founder Cherae Robinson.
She compared the site with an Airbnb for commoditizing and connecting people to Africa travel activities at scale.
On the startup’s addressable sector, Robinson references a segment of culture curious travelers: people who find themselves traveling to witness things such as foreign artwork, food, music, or dance.
For various reasons—from negative stereotypes or the difficulty of figuring out tourist choices in Africa—most of these trips are occurring in different parts of the world, based on Robinson.
She sees Tastemakers’ value proposition as the location that can bring a larger percentage of those culture travelers to Africa.
On revenue potential, Robinson is fairly upfront on figures and goals. “If we can capture 1% of that [700 million] market in the subsequent five years that’s $2.2 billion made on our platform,” she said, mentioning a median booking cost of $308. She believes Tastemakers might hit those figures by 2025—and by making use of their 20% commission—reach earnings of $434 million