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The new website could be a distraction, or it could be a relatively cheap way for Oktogo to get a URL with lots of traffic, a great name, and lots of potential for improvement.
With some $26 million in total funding from the likes of VTB Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners and Ventech, Oktogo competes against the even more heavily funded ($38.6 million) Ostrovok and Booking.com in the hotel-booking arena in Russia.
But, Oktogo’s acquisition of online travel portal Travel.ru will almost inevitably take some of Oktogo’s focus off its core hotel business as integration efforts get under way, and it seeks to attract travelers at an earlier stage of the travel research process.
Marina Kolesnik, co-founder and CEO of Oktogo, views it all as an advantage as Oktogo’s 1 million unique monthly visitors will get a big boost from the 2 million that visit Travel.ru.
“This moves allows us to accelerate market consolidation and secure our position as a major hotel booking service for independent travelers,” Kolesnik tells Skift.
“In addition to great content, we acquired a terrific brand, very well-known on the market with a large audience of independent travelers that are looking for a travel product,” Kolesnik says. “Travel.ru has already been offering booking (hotels, flights, cars), but with our technology and product expertise we will be able to make this product offer on Travel.ru much stronger.”
Kolesnik says that Travel.ru already boasts “extensive user-generated content from travelers” and will now be serving travelers throughout the travel funnel, including “the decision making cycle, from research (content) to shopping/booking to sharing reviews.”
Undoubtedly, at $2 million maximum, including stock incentives, the acquisition price was right for Oktogo.