Gummie.co.za has launched, handpicking the most interesting activities and tours in South Africa and allowing users to book online.
The site originated in 2012 as an online magazine about people, places and events in Johannesburg, becoming the second biggest online publication in the city with 40,000 page views per month.
However, founder Ksenia Mardina decided to pivot as the business model of solely relying on advertising did not prove viable.
“That’s why I decided to pivot and applied to the Founder Institute hoping that with some guidance I would find a new business model,” she said. “I graduated from the Founder Institute with a brand new business in mind – a platform for booking amazing things to do in the big South African cities and in the great outdoors.”
Gummie.co.za is the result, with the site going live this week, with listings of walks, city cycling, design tours and secret dinners, among other things.
“We have sourced the most exciting things to do for every taste. The platform allows easy and painless booking – 40 per cent of the tours are available for immediate confirmation, and the rest should be requested and confirmed by the guide,” Mardina said.
“Our speciality is a team of celebrities acting as exclusive tour guides for one day only. We call them Super Guides. You can go mountain biking and wine farm hopping with a top marathon champion Erik Kleinhans. Or have a kiteboarding session with a four time South Africa kiteboarding champion Oswald Smith. Or have a rooftop picnic with a Johannesburg-based chef David Higgs. At the moment we have five celebrities, and I am looking at expanding this award-winning team in nearest future.”
The site charges those advertising activities a fixed commission on each booking, with Mardina using her background as a travel writer and editor to source activities.