Cheltenham man’s travel idea smashes Crowdcube target

Luke and William
Urbs Travel

An app offering engaging audio content written by cultural experts and local writers, routes and ticket booking integration across some of Europe’s most beautiful and historic cities has smashed its Crowdfunding target of £150,000, having so far attracted 192 investors, but the offer’s still live on crowdfunding website Crowdcube.

Urbs Travel was set up by Cheltenham man William von Behr to take advantage of the tours and travel activities market, which is worth $150 billion. There are also more people consuming audio content – more than 16 million podcast listeners in the UK alone.

In his pitch he said: “We’re riding this new wave by tapping into both of these enormous markets, and have produced unique audio content that will inform and satisfy people’s curiosity in a way that’s both fun and easy to digest.”

Urbs is a mobile app that offers unique audio content written by cultural experts and local writers, customisable routes, and a ticket booking integration so people can skip queues and save time. Launched last September, despite the pandemic its user base had grown by 50 per cent to 252 monthly active users by November. The company says it’s on a mission to create a one-stop shop city platform.

William says that he believes that the city guide industry is outdated. Modern travellers can either hire a tour guide (inflexible and expensive) or carry around a bulky written guide (not immersive). Digital solutions are fragmented: quality navigation lacks original content, whilst quality audio lacks maps.

Urbs is a city-focused app that offers unique content written by cultural experts and local writers, a route plotting function that allows users to plan out their day and a ticket booking integration that lets travellers skip the queues and save time.

William, founder and CEO, and his co-director Luke Smyth-Osbourne, the company’s chief technical officer, have worked with more than 20 leading experts to produce unique content for seven cities across Europe, with two more in the works. The team are using this funding round to produce new content, grow our user base, and add some great new features such as accommodation booking and a social function where users can share their routes.

Will was pursuing a Master’s at Oxford before he decided to found Urbs. Prior to that he spent two years advising on the mergers and acquisitions of consumer goods companies. Will looks after the content side of the business, ensuring the quality of scripts and audio.

Prior to joining Urbs, Luke worked in Software Development at QA Consulting. He looks after both  iOS and Android products, managing the company’s outsourced development team.