Kayak swoops on German travel search engine Swoodoo [Updated]

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German travel search engine Swoodoo has been acquired by the leading U.S. flight search engine Kayak.

Although Kayak has lots of cash in the bank and is a major player in the US, it is still not well known in Europe, hence its need to make an incursion here. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed but we hear on the grapevine that T-Venture and Deutsche Telekom were “very happy with the Exit”.

Swoodoo was founded in 2006 in Germany and since then has established its position as the self-proclaimed “market leader in online flight search in Germany” in a competitive market.

Kayak’s latest acquisition dates back to 2007, when they bought their competitor sidestep and simultaneously raised $196 Millions.

This is clearly an important and vital step for Kayak to enter the German, respectively European, market. This hasn’t been easy, admits Kayak’s CEO Steve Hafner: “On many metrics, Swoodoo has been beating us handily in Germany [...]“. Especially since they recently aired a prominent TV Spot in all german speaking countries throughout months, Swoodoo’s brand rose strongly. Due to this fact, it’s rather obvious that both companies retain their current brand names and are operating simultaneously. Christian Saller, CEO of Swoodoo, will from now on also be handling Kayak’s german operations as their overseas Managing Director. Over the course of the next months technological assets are about to be implemented on both properties.

We are trying to follow up with Christian Saller on further details of the deal.

UPDATE: Christian Saller, CEO of Swoodoo, just got back to me saying that “both the management and the investors are very happy with the financial terms”, yet he won’t comment on any figures. He further said that “Kayak is a huge player in the US already, whereas Swoodoo had a strong impact on the German online flight market since its inception. Both of the companies’ technical and people assets are key factors for a strong, united product on an international level”.

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