Kayak.com

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For other uses, see Kayak (disambiguation).
KAYAK
KAYAK logo.png
Type Subsidiary of The Priceline Group
Founded 2004 (2004)
Headquarters Stamford, CT, USA
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Steve Hafner, Paul M. English
Key people Steve Hafner
(Co-founder) & (CEO)
Paul M. English
(Co-founder) & (former CTO)
Industry Travel, Technology, Search Engine
Revenue $292.7 million (2012)[1]
Subsidiaries swoodoo, checkfelix
Website kayak.com
Alexa rank US - 182[2]
Launched 2004-05-05 (Alpha) [3]
October 2004 (2004-10) (Public Beta) [3]
February 7, 2005 (2005-02-07) (2005-02-07) [3]

KAYAK is a travel search engine operated by the KAYAK Software Corporation.[4] KAYAK's products are available in more than 20 languages. The company also runs travel search engines checkfelix and swoodoo. KAYAK was acquired by The Priceline Group on November 8, 2012.

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

KAYAK was founded in 2004[5] by Steve Hafner and Paul M. English. Before KAYAK, Steve Hafner, KAYAK's current CEO, helped found Orbitz in November 1999 and led its business development, advertising sales, marketing, and product marketing activities.[6] The company was originally incorporated in Delaware in 2004 under the name Travel Search Company, Inc. The name was later changed to Kayak Software Corporation in August 2004, and KAYAK Software Corporation in 2011.[7]

Growth in the United States[edit]

In December 2007, KAYAK raised $196 million in a new round of financing from a group of investors, including General Catalyst Partners, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Oak Investment Partners. Using that funding, KAYAK acquired SideStep, a competing US travel website.[8]

On March 5, 2010, KAYAK sold certain assets related to the website www.travelpost.com and its travel information business to The New Travelco, Inc., a Delaware corporation, which subsequently changed its name to Travelpost, Inc.[9]

In January 2011, KAYAK closed down SideStep and redirected SideStep traffic to KAYAK.com.[10]

In March 2011, KAYAK began providing results in the U.S. version of Bing from multiple cities, airports and airlines in Bing's travel search section.[11]

International expansion[edit]

In May 2010, the swoodoo brand, a leading travel search platform in Germany, was acquired.[12]

In April 2011, KAYAK acquired all of the outstanding shares of JaBo Vertrieb-und Entwicklung GmbH, or JaBo Software. JaBo Software operates checkfelix, a leading travel metasearch website in Austria.[13]

KAYAK's website and mobile apps are currently available in over 20 languages and more than 30 local markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia,[14] Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Belgium, Hong Kong and Singapore.

IPO and acquisition[edit]

In November 2010, KAYAK filed its S-1 with the SEC aiming to raise $50 million in an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange.[15]

On July 20, 2012 KAYAK officially went public, trading under the name KYAK. On its first day of trading, KAYAK opened up at $26 per share - higher than originally expected - and closed at $33.18 per share.[16]

On November 8, 2012, KAYAK was acquired by The Priceline Group, then known as Priceline.com, for $1.8B, or $40 per KAYAK share.[17]

On September 25, 2013 it was announced that the State of Connecticut would assist KAYAK with a $2.5 million loan to help facilitate their move to the Harbor Point district of Stamford.[18]

Reception[edit]

Recognition[edit]

In 2013, Travel + Leisure named KAYAK’s app in its list of the Best Apps for Business Travelers[19] as well as its list for the Best Apps and Websites for Travelers.[20]

Time named KAYAK to its list of the 50 Best Websites of 2009.[21]

Mashable included KAYAK in first place for the website’s list, 10 Budget Airfare Tools Every Traveler Should Know in 2012.[22]

At The Webby Awards, KAYAK received the People’s Voice award in the travel website category in 2008, the Webby Award in the travel website category in 2009, the People’s Voice award in the mobile travel app category in 2011,[23] and three more awards in 2012: both the Webby and People's Choice awards in the travel website category and the People's Voice award in the mobile travel app category.[24] In 2013, KAYAK received a Webby Award for the Best Travel Mobile & App for Handheld Devices.

Still in 2013, the UK-based Travel Weekly’s Travolution Awards named KAYAK the Best Mobile App and Best Meta Search/Price Comparison Website.[25]

The World Travel Awards presented KAYAK with the World's Leading Flight Comparison Website award in 2013 and the World's Leading Travel Search Website award in 2011.[26]

All-American Muslim advertising[edit]

In December 2011 KAYAK announced that it would not renew a contract to advertise on the TLC reality television show All-American Muslim. The decision followed a campaign by the Florida Family Association, a one-man fundamentalist organization "on the Christian right" that says it's "defending American values."[27][28][29][30] KAYAK chief marketing officer Robert Birge wrote that TLC "was not upfront with us about the nature of the show" which "sucked"[31] in an explanation posted to the KAYAK website entitled "We Handled This Poorly."[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ King, Danny (April 3, 2013). "Kayak turns 2012 profit". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "KAYAK.com Site overview". Alexa. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  3. ^ a b c "Corporate Backgrounder". KAYAK.com. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  4. ^ "Kayak.com: Private Company Overview". Business Week. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ "KAYAK CrunchBase Profile". CrunchBase. October 23, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Steve Hafner General Catalyst Entrepreneur Page". General Catalyst. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Kayak.com Company Overview". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ Arrington, Michael (December 20, 2007). "Breaking: Kayak Raises $196 Million, Buys Rival SideStep". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ Schaal, Dennis (February 11, 2011). "Kayak has stake in TravelPost rollout". Tnooz. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  10. ^ Womack, Brian (May 27, 2011). "Kayak Software Quarterly Sales Rise on Online Travel Demand". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  11. ^ Duryee, Tricia (March 4, 2011). "Bing Picks Kayak for Travel Search Partnership". All Things D. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ Zinnagl, Lukas (May 6, 2010). "Kayak swoops on German travel search engine Swoodoo [Updated]". Techcrunch. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ Taylor, Colleen (May 27, 2011). "Poised for IPO, Kayak Reports Sales Boost and Global Growth". Gigaom. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  14. ^ Perez, Sarah (Jul 20, 2012). "Kayak Is Headed To Russia". Techcrunch. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Ostrow, Adam (November 17, 2010). "Travel Search Engine Kayak Files for IPO". Mashable. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ Empson, Rip (Jul 20, 2012). "That’ll Fly: Kayak Closes IPO Day With Shares Up Nearly 30% And Market Cap Over $1.2B". Techcrunch. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  17. ^ PANZARINO, MATTHEW. "Priceline.com acquiring travel company KAYAK for $1.8B in a deal that includes $500M in cash". The Next Web. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "KAYAK to Expand and Create 50 Jobs in Stamford". Connecticut Department of Economic Development,. October 7, 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Best Apps for Business Travelers". Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ "50 Best Websites 2009". Time. August 24, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  21. ^ Fisher, Adam (August 24, 2009). "50 Best Websites 2009". Time. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Save Money on Airline Tickets With These Websites". Mashable.com. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  23. ^ "KAYAK Webby Awards 2011". The Webby Awards. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  24. ^ "KAYAK Webby Awards 2012". The Webby Awards. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Travolution Awards 2013". Travolution. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  26. ^ "KAYAK". World Travel Awards. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  27. ^ The 2010 federal tax forms for the Florida Family Association list Mr. Caton as its only paid employee, earning $55,200. Source:Freedman, Samuel G. (December 16, 2011). "Waging a One-Man War on American Muslims". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  28. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (December 16, 2011). "Waging a One-Man War on American Muslims". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  29. ^ Stenovec, Timothy (July 10, 2012). "Florida Family Association Launches Campaign Against Marvel Comics Over Same-Sex Marriage In 'Astonishing X-Men'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  30. ^ Diaz, Johnny (December 14, 2011). "Kayak won’t renew ads on Muslim TV show". Boston Globe. 
  31. ^ Elliott, Stuart (December 14, 2011). "Kayak Defends Cutting Ties to ‘All-American Muslim’". Media Decoder. 
  32. ^ Birge, Robert. "We Handled This Poorly". Kayak.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 15, 2011. 

External links[edit]