The latest is today's announcement of the acquisition of travel social network TripUp (here is the paidContent story). TripUp has all the usual features of a social network around travel - reviews, videos, photos, community, interest matching etc. What it does not have is a way to search and book travel.
Rolling up all Sidestep's recent activity now they:
- own a social network;
- own a blogging/review platform (Travelpost);
- have a content deal with Frommers;
- have a blog content feed from RealTravel; and
- another round of financing banked.
So what is next for them? Not sure if it is time yet for a sale. To extract the most from their valuation they probably want to have a longer period of earnings growth. But I expect them to continue with content and distribution acquisition through either buying more companies or further licence and affiliate deals. On the product side there is more international expansion to do. I am also sure they are contemplating more in the area of video and photos (Hotelsbycity for example). To round off the speculation, what about a technology buy. Something that would improve their ability to push contextual deals in automated forms - think Google Adsense but for travel deals.