Friday, August 22, 2008

TripAdvisor into Vacation rental through purchase of FlipKey

Another play by TripAdvisor. This time they have acquired vacation rental player FlipKey. has the press release here. Even though FlipKey is an accommodation provider don't confuse them with an intermediary like the Expedia owned If I understand the FlipKey model correctly they are a listing service. They charge either or both of a listing fee and per email referral fee. In other words it is an online version of a yellow pages or pay for listing directly. I don't mean that to be a negative or derogatory, rather to highlight that it is an advertising business (like the rest of the TripAdvisor Media Network) not a retail business (like the Expedia business).

I am continuing my updated list of their acquisitions.
I always close these stories with the reminder that Expedia owns TripAdvisor as you'd be surprised how much search traffic I get asking the question "who owns TripAdvisor"


Anonymous said...

Hi Tim!

Aren't you surprised that this company get bought only few months after its launch in February?

What kind of deal can you make for such a short time? Surely the traffic FlipKey is getting must be limited at this stage. I have absolutely never heard of this company before. Maybe exchange of share options with EXPE?

I don't know, I am very puzzled by all these acquisitions.



Pete said...

Hi Tim -

I agree that this acquisition felt surprising, given FlipKey's short history.

Beyond potentially fulfilling an attractive niche for TripAdisor, though, I bet TA felt FlipKey's management's successful track record at played a big role in the deal.

And I bet it didn't hurt at all that FlipKey's also located in the Boston area.

- Pete

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