Wednesday, May 09, 2007

TripAdvisor rolls up and ends up with SeatGuru

Expedia's TripAdvisor (yes.. Expedia owns TripAdvisor...) has gone on a roll up rampage buying 5 content/community players smartertravel.com and bookingbuddy.com; TravelPod.com; Travel-Library.com; and one of my favourite traveller tools SeatGuru.com (according to Hotel Marketing). I think this is a smart move. The model for community/traffic based travel media companies has moved beyond a "one brand fits all model" to a market where consumers are seeking information from a variety of different sources. The synergies are obvious - central ad sales, hosting and management while keeping a low cost production/editorial team. I am assuming here that TripAdvisor will maintain the separate brands and community and not try to do integration crazy (which is soooo 2003).

UPDATE - TripAdvisor/Expedia is not done yet. May 07 announced acquisition of Cruise Critic adding another vertical. Expect more to follow

5 comments:

Sam I Am said...

Wow, that is great news for Luc over at travelpod (don't know the other owners, but have traded emails with Luc in the past). And I agree with you Tim, SeatGuru is definitely one of the best travel sites out there! Congrats to tripadvisor on this move; I think it's very smart and provides a lot of great content to them for integration within tripadvisor as well (on the side of keeping the sites standalone)!

Dan L said...

Any word on the sale price i found this a while back but couldn't attach the number to the respective site>

For TripAdvisor, a unit of Expedia Inc., the purchase of Independent Traveler is its fifth acquisition of a travel media company in the last nine months. Previous acquisitions included Travel Library (September 2006); TravelPod (December 2006); Smarter Travel Media (February 2007); and SeatGuru (March 2007).

Expedia Inc. didn't disclose the purchase prices of any of the acquisitions, but did note recently that it bought one travel-information firm in the first quarter of this year for $41.1 million, and a 50% ownership interest in another on March 30 for $26 million in cash.

Tim Hughes said...

Dan - Well spotted on that paragraph. I have not heard anything more detailed. In my interview with Luc of Travelpod he would not disclose the amount. Any one else out there know anything?

Anonymous said...

whats interesting is if you do some digging here http://sec.edgar-online.com/2007/05/09/0000950134-07-010871/Section2.asp

and determine when each one was purchased someone could connect the dots of purchase amount and timing of purchase. I'll be looking more into this.

Anonymous said...

Have you came to any conclusions?