UpTake Networks announced today that it acquired RealTravel.com, a social hotel recommendation site. With the purchase, terms of which were not disclosed, UpTake aims to “accelerate their investment in the online travel research experience and drive more free, qualified leads back to travel sites”.
UpTake already operates UpTake.com, a semantic search engine designed to help travelers research and decide where to go, stay and what to do.
Yen Lee, co-founder of UpTake, explains the decision to buy Real Travel thusly:
“We acquired Real Travel because their product vision and approach are similar to UpTake.com, they have a highly talented team and they have a global footprint covering more than 200 countries.”
UpTake, which was formerly known as Kango and changed its name to UpTake Networks in March 2008, says it intends to continue to operate RealTravel.com as an independent site.
UpTake was initially founded in 2006 and is based in Palo Alto, California. The company has raised $14 million to date.
According to its CrunchBase profile, Real Travel has raised $1.8 million (from Mike Maples and Reid Hoffman, among others), although it appears some funding rounds are missing in the database. The fact that the latest press release to be published on Real Travel’s site dates back to July 2007 doesn’t help, of course.
RealTravel is a place for people to find and share travel advice and experiences. They site has very deep travel content — mostly written by users, and some from a recent partnership with Frommer’s. The site has an active community of tens of thousands of frequent travelers who talk about their experiences and freely give their recommendations via blogs, forums, photos, etc.