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Despite the crowded market, hotel search site Trivago readies U.S. push

@denschaal

Oct 08, 2012 11:37 am

Skift Take

If you haven’t heard of Trivago yet, you will. The company is big in Europe, and would have to make some real noise at this relatively late stage to stand out in a crowded U.S. market.

— Dennis Schaal

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Trivago, a Dusseldorf-based hotel meta search site, plans to make a big push into the U.S. in 2013.  A household name in several European countries because of extensive television advertising campaigns, Trivago’s strength can be felt in Spain, Germany, the UK, Italy, and France, in particular. The company, which solely provides hotel search, was founded in 2005, and has been regularly beating its peers.

For example, Trivago’s search queries in Germany (at right) over the summer outpaced those of Booking.com, fluege.de, and Kayak’s swoodo, while its query advantage over
Rumbo, eDreams and Viajar was even greater in Spain, according to Google Trends data.

Co-founder Malte Siewert, who heads finance, sales and business development says Travigo launched a U.S. site a couple of years ago, has been testing some TV advertising, and will “push forward” with the effort in 2013.

U.S. in roadmap

“It is definitely on our roadmaps and it is one of the countries of attention” for next year, Siewert says.

Just what the country needs — another hotel search site, right?

However, Siewert argues that Trivago differentiates itself through its lack of advertising cluttering the site, its sole focus on hotel search, and its comprehensiveness, contending Trivago would deliver to users wholesalers which have had little exposure in the U.S.

Trivago claims to search more than 140 hotel booking sites, with access to more than 613,000 hotels.

“If we’re talking about Europe, the fragmentation both in terms of suppliers and retailers gives meta a very strong proposition,” says Carroll Rheem, a senior director of research at PhoCusWright.

Financial strength?

Trivago won’t get specific on its financials, but Siewert says the company is profitable, and is experiencing “high growth rates.” Trivago raised about $1.2 million in 2008 from Howzat Media, an investment fund spearheaded by Hugo Burge and David Soskin, both of whom formerly led Cheapflights.

In the wake of Kayak’s so-far successful IPO, there have been whispers in the U.S. that Trivago would be next, and that going public was definitely in the works, all of which Siewert denies.

“It’s not under consideration, we didn’t hire a bank, and nothing’s been considered,” says  Siewert.

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