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Zoombu was an online door-to-door journey search engine for Europe, now defunct after takeover by Skyscanner. Users could enter their starting and destination addresses and the service searches thousands of routes across combinations of transportation including flights, trains, ferries, and ground transfers including taxis, driving and car parking. Results could be filtered according to specific user preferences, budget, time available and even carbon footprint. The service was independent from any particular carrier and searches hundreds of transportation carriers. Zoombu did not include booking capabilities, but instead it linked to transportation suppliers where it is possible to book components of any route.

The company was based in South-West London.


The idea for Zoombu was developed by Dr Alistair Hann whilst working as a researcher at the University of Oxford in 2008. He was frustrated at the time it took to search for flight routes and compare these to alternatives such as taking the train or ferry, then research connections to determine the best overall option. Others shared his frustration and he entered the idea for a door-to-door travel search engine into a competition run by Oxford Entrepreneurs called Ideal Idol, which he won.[1] Shortly afterwards he asked Rachel Armitage, a friend and colleague from undergraduate engineering at Oxford to co-found the business.[2]

Zoombu’s search engine was available to a handful of users on a private basis from mid-2009. In March 2010, Zoombu’s Beta product was opened to the public, catering for searches from the UK to within Europe. In April 2010 the product was still in Beta and broader geographical coverage was expected to be added in September 2010.[3] In 2011, Skyscanner acquired Zoombu for an undisclosed sum[4] and the site is currently disabled.

The small start-up team has been recognised for their innovation within the travel industry[5] and has won several awards including The University of Oxford Saïd Business School Venture Fund 2009 [6] and was a finalist at Seedcamp in 2008.[7]

See also[edit]