|Type of business||Subsidiary|
Paul M. English
|Key people||Steve Hafner (CEO)|
Giorgos Zacharia (CTO)
|Revenue||US$ 292.7 million (2012)|
|Alexa rank||619 (August 2016) |
|Launched||May 5, 2004 (Alpha)|
October 2004 (Public Beta)
February 7, 2005 (Public)
|Native client(s) on||iOS, Android, watchOS, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger|
Kayak.com, sometimes styled as KAYAK, is a fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine operated by Booking Holdings. Its products are available in 18 languages. The company also runs travel search engines including checkfelix and swoodoo. 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 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. 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.[clarification needed]
Growth in the United States
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.
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.
In January 2011, Kayak closed down SideStep and redirected SideStep traffic to Kayak.com.
In May 2010, Kayak acquired German travel search platform Swoodoo.
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, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Belgium, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Singapore.
IPO and acquisition
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.
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. The acquisition closed on May 21, 2013, for $2.1B.
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.
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, 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. 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. In 2015, Kayak Mobile won again the People's Voice Award in the Travel category of the Webbys.
All-American Muslim advertising
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". 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".
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