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Skyscanner acquired Budapest-based mobile developer Distinction and its 30 employees as the flight — and recently hotel — metasearch site tries to ramp up its mobile presence, including by branching out into hotels in a more serious way.
Distinction has worked on developing Skyscanner’s apps over the last three years, and Skyscanner, broadening its business, recently added a hotel-only app to its lineup.
With the acquisition of Distinction, which is geared toward developing Skyscanner’s mobile roadmap, you can expect Skyscanner to make a greater push into taking direct bookings through online travel agency and hotel partners directly in Skyscanner apps and on the Web. Skyscanner has already begun to do this on a limited basis.
Gareth Williams, Skyscanner’s Co-founder and CEO, comments: “The future of online travel booking is undoubtedly mobile,” says Gareth Williams, Skyscanner’s co-founder and CEO. “More and more of travelers’ 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,” Williams adds. “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.”
Distinction’s Budapest office now becomes Skyscanner’s “mobile hub,” the company states.
Acquiring a mobile company is an increasingly popular way to obtain developers for travel companies with large mobile ambitions. For example, in 2010 Expedia Inc. acquired mobile-app developer Mobiata to accelerate the online travel company’s plans.
Terms of Skyscanner’s acquisition of Distinction were not disclosed.