Skyscanner is the underdog few have heard of stateside. To compete with likes of Kayak and others, it needs a lot more muscle and visibility than it currently has, and maybe it is better off focusing on its stronghold in Europe.
Scotland-based travel metasearch service Skyscanner has acquired Barcelona-based hotel comparison booking site Fogg, and this move means it is making its first major foray into the lucrative hotel booking space.
Skyscanner will integrate Fogg’s search into its site by the end of the year, it says, and will expand the languages beyond English and Spanish to 30 other languages across its network of sites.
Skyscanner is also opening a new office in Barcelona, where all five of Fogg’s full-time staff will be based. Fogg was launched in 2009, and uses natural language for metasearch, helping consumers choose from 300,000 hotels in 180 countries, it says.
So far Edinburgh-based Skyscanner — one of the few mid-to-large-size independents left in the online travel booking space — has focused on its initial mission of flight metasearch and more recently, car rental metasearch.
And now with the addition of hotels in its arsenal, it is going to compete more directly with Kayak, especially stateside where it says it is expanding into. Though of course with revenues of around $50 million and pre-tax profits of about $18 million over the last year, it is tiny compared to the almost $300 million in revenues Kayak generated in 2012.