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Kayak Logo.svg
Kayak.com screenshot.jpg
Type of businessSubsidiary
Founded2004 (2004)
Area servedWorldwide
Founder(s)Steve Hafner
Paul M. English
Key peopleSteve Hafner (CEO)
Giorgos Zacharia (CTO)
Search Engine
RevenueUS$ 292.7 million (2012)[1]
ParentBooking Holdings
Hotels Combined
Alexa rankDecrease 619 (August 2016) [2]
LaunchedMay 5, 2004 (2004-05-05) (Alpha)[3]
October 2004 (2004-10) (Public Beta)[3]
February 7, 2005 (2005-02-07) (Public)[3]
Native client(s) oniOS, Android, watchOS, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger

Kayak.com, sometimes styled as KAYAK, is a fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine operated by Booking Holdings.[4] Its products are available in 18 languages. The company also runs travel search engines including checkfelix[5] and swoodoo[6]. Formerly a separate company, the Kayak Software Corporation was acquired by the Priceline Group on May 21, 2013, and Priceline Group then renamed itself to Booking Holdings in 2018.



Kayak was founded in 2004[7] 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.[8] The company was originally incorporated in Delaware in 2004[4] 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.[clarification needed][citation needed]

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, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Oak Investment Partners. Using that funding, Kayak acquired SideStep, a competing US travel website.[9]

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.[10]

In January 2011, Kayak closed down SideStep and redirected SideStep traffic to Kayak.com.[11]

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.[12]

International expansion[edit]

In May 2010, Kayak acquired German travel search platform Swoodoo.[13]

In April 2011, Kayak acquired all of the outstanding shares of JaBo Vertrieb-und Entwicklung GmbH, or JaBo Software. JaBo Software operates Checkfelix, a travel search engine in Austria.[14][15]

Kayak's website and mobile apps are currently available in over 18 languages and more than 30 local markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia,[16] Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Belgium, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan 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.[17]

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.[18]

On November 8, 2012, it was announced that Kayak was being acquired by Booking Holdings, then known as Priceline.com, for $1.8B, or $40 per Kayak share.[19] The acquisition closed on May 21, 2013, for $2.1B.[20]

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.[21]


In 2013, Travel + Leisure named Kayak's app in its list of the Best Apps for Business Travelers[22] as well as its list for the Best Apps and Websites for Travelers.[23]

Time named Kayak to its list of the 50 Best Websites of 2009.[24]

Mashable included Kayak in first place for the website's list, "10 Budget Airfare Tools Every Traveler Should Know in 2012".[25]

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,[26] 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.[27] In 2013, Kayak received a Webby Award for the Best Travel Mobile & App for Handheld Devices. In 2014, Kayak won both the People's Voice and Webby Award in the Travel category for Tablets.[28] In 2015, Kayak Mobile won again the People's Voice Award in the Travel category of the Webbys.[29]

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.[30]

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 focused on "defending American values".[31][32] In a statement posted to the Kayak website, Kayak chief marketing officer Robert Birge wrote that TLC "was not upfront with us about the nature of the show".[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ King, Danny (April 3, 2013). "Kayak turns 2012 profit". Travel Weekly. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "Kayak.com Site overview". Alexa. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Corporate Backgrounder". Kayak.com. Archived from the original on March 21, 2009. Retrieved March 6, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Kayak.com: Private Company Overview". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  5. ^ https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/checkfelix
  6. ^ https://www.kayak.com/news/kayak-acquires-swoodoo-germanys-leading-travel-search-site/
  7. ^ "Kayak CrunchBase Profile". CrunchBase. October 23, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "Steve Hafner General Catalyst Entrepreneur Page". General Catalyst. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  9. ^ Arrington, Michael (December 20, 2007). "Breaking: Kayak Raises $196 Million, Buys Rival SideStep". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  10. ^ Schaal, Dennis (February 11, 2011). "Kayak has stake in TravelPost rollout". Tnooz. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  11. ^ Womack, Brian (May 27, 2011). "Kayak Software Quarterly Sales Rise on Online Travel Demand". Bloomberg News. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  12. ^ Duryee, Tricia (March 4, 2011). "Bing Picks Kayak for Travel Search Partnership". All Things D. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  13. ^ Zinnagl, Lukas (May 6, 2010). "Kayak swoops on German travel search engine Swoodoo [Updated]". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  14. ^ Taylor, Colleen (May 27, 2011). "Poised for IPO, Kayak Reports Sales Boost and Global Growth". Gigaom. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  15. ^ May, Kevin (April 5, 2011). "Kayak buys Austrian travel search engine Checkfelix". Tnooz. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  16. ^ Perez, Sarah (July 20, 2012). "Kayak Is Headed To Russia". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  17. ^ Ostrow, Adam (November 17, 2010). "Travel Search Engine Kayak Files for IPO". Mashable. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  18. ^ Empson, Rip (July 20, 2012). "That'll Fly: Kayak Closes IPO Day With Shares Up Nearly 30% And Market Cap Over $1.2B". Techcrunch. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  19. ^ Panzarino, Matthew. "Priceline.com acquiring travel company Kayak for $1.8B in a deal that includes $500M in cash". The Next Web. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  20. ^ "PCLN Form 10-Q".
  21. ^ "Kayak to Expand and Create 50 Jobs in Stamford (press release)" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. October 7, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2014.[dead link]
  22. ^ "Best Apps for Business Travelers". Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  23. ^ "50 Best Websites 2009". Time. August 24, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  24. ^ Fisher, Adam (August 24, 2009). "50 Best Websites 2009". Time. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  25. ^ "Save Money on Airline Tickets With These Websites". Mashable. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  26. ^ "Kayak Webby Awards 2011". The Webby Awards. Retrieved January 13, 2012.[dead link]
  27. ^ "16th Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners". The Webby Awards. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  28. ^ "Winners / 2014 / Mobile & Apps – Travel (Tablet & All Other Devices) – 2014 People's Voice / Webby Award Winner". The Webby Awards. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  29. ^ "Winners / 2015 / Mobile Sites & Apps – Travel (Handheld Devices) – 2015 People's Voice". The Webby Awards. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  30. ^ "Kayak". World Travel Awards. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  31. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (December 16, 2011). "Waging a One-Man War on American Muslims". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  32. ^ Diaz, Johnny (December 14, 2011). "Kayak won't renew ads on Muslim TV show". The Boston Globe.
  33. ^ Birge, Robert. "We Handled This Poorly". Kayak.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 15, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]