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Skyscanner Ltd.
Founded(2003; 20 years ago (2003))[1]
  • Gareth Williams
  • Barry Smith
  • Bonamy Grimes
Key people
Revenue£261 million (2016)[2]
Number of employees
1,000+ (2021)[3] Group

Skyscanner is a metasearch engine and travel agency based in Edinburgh, Scotland.[1] The site is available in over 30 languages and is used by 100 million people per month.[1][4] The company lets people research and book travel options for their trips, including flights, hotels and car hire.[1]


The company was formed in 2003[1] by three information technology professionals, Gareth Williams, Barry Smith, and Bonamy Grimes, after Gareth was frustrated by the difficulties of finding cheap flights to ski resorts.[5] Skyscanner was first developed and released in 2002. In 2003, the first employee was hired to assist with site development. The Edinburgh office was opened in 2004.[6]

In 2008, Skyscanner received first round funding of £2.5 million from venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).[7]

In 2009, the year after SEP invested in the business, Skyscanner reported its first profit.[8]

In 2011, Skyscanner acquired Zoombu.[9] Skyscanner opened an office in Singapore in September 2011, which is headquarters for its Asia-Pacific operations.[10] In 2012, a Beijing office was added, as Skyscanner began a partnership with Baidu, China's largest search engine.[11]

By 2013, the company employed over 180 people.[12] In February 2013, Skyscanner announced plans to open a United States base in Miami.[12] In October 2013, Sequoia Capital purchased an interest in Skyscanner that valued the company at $800 million.[13] In June 2014, Skyscanner acquired Youbibi, a travel search engine company based in Shenzhen, China.[14]

In October 2014, Skyscanner acquired the Budapest-based mobile app developer Distinction.[15]

By February 2015, the company employed 600 people, double the employment of 18 months earlier.[16]

In January 2016, the company raised $192 million based on a $1.6 billion valuation for the company.[17]

In November 2016, a Chinese company Group (formerly Ctrip) bought Skyscanner for $1.75 billion.[18] Following the sale to Ctrip, Skyscanner’s largest shareholder, SEP, completed its exit from the business.[19]

In 2017, Ctrip bought the domain and launched The original platform became a subsidiary of Skyscanner.[20]

In 2020, the company announced that they would be laying off 300 employees after COVID-19 rocked the travel industry. This represented 20 per cent of their staff with two offices in Budapest, Hungary and Sofia, Bulgaria, likely to shut down.[21]

In 2022, Huawei and Skyscanner forms a partnership to bring various travel services Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and Petal Search and Petal Maps. [22]


  1. ^ a b c d e "About Skyscanner".
  2. ^ Field, Matthew (4 October 2019). "Skyscanner soars to record revenues under Chinese ownership". The Telegraph.
  3. ^ "United by a love of travel".
  4. ^ O'Hear, Steve (28 September 2012). "Skyscanner's Mobile Apps Hit 10M Downloads, Letting Users Find Cheap Flights On The Go". TechCrunch.
  5. ^ Trapp, Roger (18 February 2006). "How to launch a great business". The Independent.
  6. ^ "In pictures: inside Skyscanner's head office". The Scotsman. 17 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Skyscanner Lands VC Funding to Build World's Leading Flight Search Engine". Skyscanner's Travel Blog. 20 January 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Travel firm secures major investment". BBC News. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  9. ^ Butcher, Mike (17 January 2011). "Travel search engine Skyscanner acquires Zoombu". TechCrunch.
  10. ^ "Skyscanner to set up operation in Singapore". BBC News. 26 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Skyscanner lands China search engine deal". BBC News. 23 August 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Flight firm Skyscanner moves in to America". BBC News. 4 February 2012.
  13. ^ "Skyscanner valued at $800m by backer of Apple". The Evening Standard. 3 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Skyscanner buys Chinese metasearch firm Youbibi". BBC News. 25 June 2014.
  15. ^ O'Hear, Steve (22 October 2014). "Travel Search Company Skyscanner Acquires Budapest-Based Mobile App Developer Distinction". TechCrunch.
  16. ^ Russell, Jon (23 February 2015). "Skyscanner optimistic as revenue growth slows". Financial Times.
  17. ^ Shu, Catherine (12 January 2016). "Travel Search Site Skyscanner Raises $192M For International Expansion". TechCrunch.
  18. ^ Dickie, Mure (23 November 2016). "China's Ctrip is buying flight search company SkyScanner for $1.74 billion". TechCrunch.
  19. ^ "Scottish Equity Partners exits Skyscanner following £1.4 billion sale". Growth Business. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  20. ^ Bort, Julie (1 November 2017). "Tiny startup has been acquired by Chinese travel giant Ctrip – a move that could shake up the travel industry". Business Insider.
  21. ^ Rafiah, Moshe (14 July 2020). "A Skyscanner update". Skyscanner.
  22. ^ Sarkar, Amy (26 May 2022). "Huawei and Skyscanner partners for Petal Search integration". HuaweiCentral. Retrieved 26 May 2022.

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