Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Red Herring is still alive and thinks Trivago is the next big thing

I thought Red Herring was Dead Herring. Back in the day (the boom) Red Herring was The online industry magazine and news source. Pre- TechCrunch, paidContent, GigaOm etc, Red Herring was a must read. Then it missed the online boat (who'd have thought) and the a-list blogs took over as the must reads. Valleywag has put the whole of Red Herring on Death watch.

But it seems that Red Herring is still (irregularly) putting out the magazine and (a little more regularly) continuing to host events. Last month in Malta Red Herring hosted a conference to announce/promote the Red Herring Top 100 Tech Startups in Europe. Among the winners - the Dusseldorf based trivago. Nice looking site with social networking, user generated content and a meta-search engine. I cannot see in my initial review what brings it ahead for the pack that includes the power houses TripAdvisor, Kayak, Virtualtourist, WAYN, Cheapflights etc. It may be enough that Howzat (investment vehicle for David Soskin and Hugo Burge) have invested in the trivago.

Les Explorers blog has an interview with trivago's head of PR Ulrike Pithan that has some good background on the company.

TVTrip (hotel video guides) also had a mentioned as a finalist.


James said...

There is definately nothing special about this site. They have bundled together a bunch of sub-standard products where each individual product is no where near as good as other sites.
Their hotel search is horrible and the site is very hard to navigate. It does look nice though.

Anonymous said...

A travel start up I am involved in was invited to last years Red Herring best 100 start ups in Asia. We found out pretty quickly that the event was purely a money eaner for Red Herring as all the 100 sites were offered ad sponsorship during the event and were encouraged to sponsor tables of 10 guests or more. We added it all up - for us to accept the award we would have to have paid close to US 10K. If you multiply 10K by 100, thats a great money earner for Red Herring. We believe that only the start ups who sponsored tabes at the event and bought sponsorship were awarded prizes - the whole event lacked credibility.

Anonymous said...

WHAT cash for comments ? no not here as well

Farley said...


I am Farley Duvall of Red Herring and run the EMEA group. I would like to respond to the comment about RH Asia being "only a moneymaker..."

I am not sure where you get your numbers, as the event price is approx. US$2k to attend. The same price is extended to ALL attendees.

There are many sponsors at the event (Microsoft, for instance), but Award Winners are not required to sponsor.

There are additional exposure opportunities available for Winners, such as taking a booth at the event, or purchasing a page of advertising in the RH 100 Asia edition, but again, this is not a requirement. Many firms like to be able to show clients the edition of the magazine where they are profiled as a Winner and have an ad page.

But back to your comment about US$10K/per attendee, I can only dream of these numbers. We organize the RH 100 events to help promote early stage firms. We WANT to give them exposure to potential investors. Yes, we charge US$2k to attend the conference, but Winners receive the award and their place in the magazine, whether they attend the conference or not.

I resent the suggestion that these events lacks credibility. No one forces you to attend and if you are looking for funding, there are many potential investors there that are eager to meet with you. For US$2k + travel, you can meet with 50-100 investors from throughout Asia/US. To make 1 trip to the US, you would spend more money and be lucky to see more than a handful of VCs.

Finally, in order to even be considered FOR the award, your firm must go to our website and complete a multi-page submission that is read by our journalist team. As this takes some effort to complete, Red Herring assumes that you/your company is actually interested in receiving the award, thus confirming that you/your firm attaches some value to being a Winner. Again, your decision whether to attend the conference, but you receive the award either way.

I would encourage you to contact me directly to discuss further. Are you from Qunar.com or
city8.com, by chance?

Anonymous said...

Just noticed this. When I was with H4O we purchased one of the tables that was mentioned, but we did not win the Red Herring 100 Asia. It goes to show that even if you pay a lot there is no guarantee of winning.

Anonymous said...

to James:

Do you still feel the same way about trivago now?

From what I can tell they are quite popular! :)