Travel Search Company Skyscanner Acquires Budapest-Based Mobile App Developer Distinction

Skyscanner, the travel search company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland (and a veteran of the space), is consolidating its mobile strategy today with the acquisition of Budapest-based app developer Distinction.

The deal — terms of which remain undisclosed — sees the Scottish company pick up Distinction’s 30-strong team of mobile designers and developers who will form the basis of Skyscanner new Budapest, Hungary-based mobile ‘hub’, effectively bringing its mobile app development in-house.

The two companies had already been working together, most recently to develop Skyscanner’s hotel app which launched in August this year on iOS and Android. However, I understand the relationship harks back to 2011, including Distinction helping to build the travel search company’s Windows Mobile 8 flight search app a couple of years ago.

Along with its new Budapest mobile development hub via today’s acquisition, Skyscanner says it plans to create additional roles to drive mobile growth, which has already seen a multitude of travel apps hit the various app stores. “We have expanded our range of apps over the past 12 months, adding car hire and, most recently, hotels and have had over 30m downloads across our product range,” a company spokesperson tell me.

To that end, Gareth Williams, Skyscanner co-founder and CEO, says in a statement: “The future of online travel booking is undoubtedly mobile. More and more of travellers’ plans are made on the move and that is accelerating fast.

“The team at Distinction, led by Bálint Orosz and Akos Kapui, are some of the best app developers that I’ve ever come across. In working closely with them on the design of our hotel app, we saw how focused they were on the user experience. They have built a fantastic company with a great culture and, as part of our combined team, will focus on creating the mobile travel assistant that future travellers will need.”