The Alternative City Sightseeing Start-up with 40,000 Customers


More and more of us are choosing to live in cities for the connectedness that comes with urban life. But how much of our cities do we actually visit?

City Safari was founded in Rotterdam in 1996 to encourage interaction between urban communities that would never normally mix. A successful B2B program led to over 40,000 unique urban experiences in Rotterdam alone. Now founder Marjolijn Masselink is adding a B2C franchise to this model with the aim of attracting locals, tourists and organisations to their new B2C booking platform.

Preparations are underway to launch this social entrepreneurship concept in other major Dutch cities and then expand internationally with Malmo, Dresden, Athens and Mexico City all potential destinations.

City Safari is now crowdfunding on Symbid, view the pitch and invest here.

  1. When did you decide to become an entrepreneur, and why?

City Safari founder, Marjolijn Masselink

In 1994 I decided to become an entrepreneur. The reason I chose entrepreneurship is my difficulty to conform to a boss, just because he is the boss.

I want to do the things that I see as worthwhile and want to work in a way I choose myself. I like to realize things with my own strength. It makes me feel proud and alive.

  1. What kind of entrepreneur are you?

I’m a social communicator, I know how to charm people and win them over to my ideas. My most valuable skill is to make the customer tell me the truth so I can get to the root of what they want. Enthusiasm is my middle name and I can easily infect people with it. I’m sociable and empathetic. This helps me to understand whatever the customer wants.

  1. In a few sentences, introduce your company

City Safari is a flexible company that is based on the conviction that there’s a market for stories and human interaction. When we started in 1998 when such social projects were the domain of the government and subsidised institutions.

We were convinced that people would be prepared to pay an organisation to set up these cross-community encounters and we were right. This way we came to be a social enterprise for people, planet AND profit.

  1. Describe the past, present and future of your company

From 1998 we have built custom-made full-service programs for government agencies, institutions and companies. The financial crisis hit us hard as budgets for staff activities were slashed everywhere.


We are making a profit now as we’re climbing out of the crisis. By scaling up to many cities and bringing the product within reach of the individual visitor, we will be less vulnerable and can grow exponentially from there.

  1. What is the unique value of the products/services you offer?

We take our guests out of their comfort zone to parts of town they would normally avoid to meet people they only read about. It enriches their understanding of society and gives them an experience they will never forget.

Our technology is not unique, but access to our hosts and the experience of how to open up a city certainly is. With this investment we can unlock the value of what we have built.

  1. What is main goal of your crowdfunding campaign?

billboard_Kalebas770New technology makes it possible to provide our services at a lower price, more flexible and scalable to many cities, thus bringing it within reach for private visitors and tourists. To build the platform and to open up new cities, we need a booster in the shape of equity to finance the development.

  1. Why crowdfunding?

We have a solid network of clients, hosts and people who support our work, but none of them with enough means to singlehandedly fund the necessary investment to scale up our activities. We chose equity instead of a loan to give investors that trust us ownership and the maximum benefit.

  1. Give 3 key reasons to invest in your company
  • You will invest in People, in personal meetings across communities, in the social fabric of the city;
  • You will invest in the Planet as we use only existing resources and stories can move you with a very small ecological footprint;
  • You will invest in Profit as open minded people across the globe will use our platform to connect.

City Safari is now crowdfunding on Symbid, view the pitch and invest here.