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trivago N.V.
IndustryTravel, Hotel, Information technology, Marketing
FoundedJanuary 2005; 14 years ago (2005-01) in Düsseldorf, Germany
FoundersRolf Schrömgens (CEO)
Stephan Stubner
Peter Vinnemeier
Malte Siewert
Areas served
55 countries worldwide
Key people
Rolf Schrömgens
Malte Siewert
Peter Vinnemeier
Andrej Lehnert(CMO)
Johannes Thomas(COO)
Axel Hefer (CFO)
Anna Drüing (CPO)
ProductsMetasearch for hotel prices
trivago Hotel Manager
RevenueIncrease1.035 billion (2017)
OwnerExpedia Group
Number of employees
1,609 (2019)
Logo of the hotel search engine

Trivago N.V., marketed with lowercase styling as trivago, is a German transnational technology company specializing in internet-related services and products in the hotel, lodging and meta search fields. The American travel company Expedia Group owns a majority of the company's stock.

Trivago was the first hotel search engine in Germany.[2] It became one of the fastest growing companies in Germany,[3] with profitability doubling from 2008 to 2012.[4]


The company was founded in Düsseldorf, Germany, in January 2005. Seeing an opportunity in the hotel search space, the founding team developed Germany's first hotel search engine. Shortly after launch, Stephan Stubner resigned as Managing Director, but the three other founders (Rolf Schrömgens, Peter Vinnemeier and Malte Siewert) remain.[5]

Initially, trivago received €1 million from investors, including the Samwer brothers,[who?] Florian Heinemann, and Christian Vollmann.[5] In 2008, Trivago received US$1.14 million in Series B funding from the British company HOWZAT media LLP.[6] In December 2010, Trivago sold a quarter of the company for US$52.86 million to a US investment fund, Insight Venture Partners.[7]

In December 2012, Expedia, an American travel company, announced that it would acquire a 61.6% stake in Trivago for $632 million.[8][5] The deal was completed in 2013.

In December 2014, Trivago acquired mobile app product and development company Rheinfabrik. After the acquisition, Rheinfabrik remains independent from Trivago in its work.[9]

In 2015, Andrej Lehnert[10] and Johannes Thomas (Hotel Sales, Business) joined Trivago's Managing Director team.[11] In 2015, Trivago reported more than US$500 million in revenue,[12] and said its revenue had doubled every year from 2008 to 2015.[4]

In March 2016, Trivago announced it had acquired 52.3% of Cloud-PMS company Base7booking, after taking majority control of the Switzerland-based company in the third quarter of 2015. Trivago integrated Base7booking's property management system, which enables small and independent hoteliers to manage daily operations, run reports, send invoices and manage digital and email marketing.[13]

In April 2016, Trivago reached 1,000 employees and began building a new campus in Düsseldorf.[14]

On December 16, 2016, trivago became publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol TRVG.[15][16][17] Expedia retains 64.7% of voting rights and 59.7% of economic rights.[18]


Trivago is headquartered in Düsseldorf, where the international operations are conducted and 90% of the company's employees work.[5] In 2013, Trivago opened new offices in Leipzig and Palma de Mallorca. There are also offices in Amsterdam and Shanghai.[5]

Business model[edit]

As a hotel price comparison website, Trivago makes money from advertising partners primarily using a cost-per-click (CPC) business model. Booking platforms, hoteliers and other providers list rates and advertise on the Trivago site, paying for the clicks received from Trivago users.[5]

Trivago also offers free and fee-based versions[11] of its Hotel Manager product, which hoteliers use to market their facilities on the Trivago site.[19] Trivago claims to be the world's largest online hotel search site, comparing rates from over 1 million hotels and more than 250 booking sites worldwide. The site includes over 190 million hotel ratings and 14 million photos, and reports over 120 million visitors per month. Since their majority shareholder is Expedia, the effort is to direct bookings to their sites by way of various "adjustments" to how other sites' rates are perceived. They also offer rates through many sites reselling for travel wholesalers, where rooms may or may not be available at time of booking.[citation needed]

Products and features[edit]

Hotel search[edit]

Trivago's hotel search engine was the first of its kind in Germany[2] and has websites in 50+ countries.[5] Trivago claims to be the world's largest online hotel search site, comparing rates from over 1 million hotels and more than 250 booking sites worldwide. The site includes over 190 million hotel ratings and 14 million photos, and reports over 120 million visitors per month.[12]

Trivago's search tool scans hotel booking sites for prices, availability, images and reviews within seconds. When users choose a hotel, they are redirected to a partner website to complete the booking.[20]

Trivago app[edit]

Trivago offers a free app for its Hotel Search product on both iOS and Android.[21] In addition to the hotel search feature, the app provides interactive maps and displays accommodations in close proximity to the user's current location.[22]

The Trivago app has been listed in Mashable's 25 Apps to save you money,[21] USA Today's 10 best apps for booking your stay,[23] Independent.IE in Ireland as an app to save time and money[24] and Australia's as one of the top apps to take on holiday.[25]

Trivago Hotel Manager[edit]

Hotel Manager is Trivago's B2B platform that allows hoteliers to market their facilities on the Trivago site. The platform gives hotels and chains customer data to attempt to secure more bookings and increase business.[26] Hoteliers can monitor their performance, for example seeing the amount of profile views, clicks and bookings they receive.

Hotel Manager Pro[edit]

Hotel Manager Pro is the fee-based version of Trivago's Hotel Manager platform. The Pro version enables hoteliers to update and customize their own listings, as well as access analytics about competitor rates. Trivago says that up-to-date listings, including images and amenity information, help properties increase their rankings on the site.[11]

Rate Connect[edit]

Rate Connect is a feature that allows individual hotels to update their current rates and availability directly via the Trivago Hotel Manager tool.[27]

Indices and rankings[edit]

Trivago Rating Index (tRI)[edit]

The tRI aggregates all ratings for destinations listed on Trivago and ranks them between 0 and 100.[28] The index includes criteria such as location, price, food, internet, room and facilities,[29] and is used to create annual Trivago rankings and awards such as the Reputation Ranking,[30] Island Ranking,[31] Ski Ranking,[32] the Top Hotel Awards,[33] and the Best Value Destinations (based on an algorithm combining the tRI with price).[34]

Trivago Hotel Price Index (tHPI)[edit]

The Trivago Hotel Price Index (tHPI) displays the average overnight accommodation prices for the most popular cities worldwide. Prices are based on the cost of a standard double room, taken from over 2 million daily price inquiries over the past month.[12]

Travel Advice Calendars[edit]

Trivago's Travel Advice Calendars show the most affordable and most expensive months to visit top destinations. The calendars feature 45 cities across six continent to provide average monthly hotel prices.[35]


Trivago focuses on online marketing (SEM and display advertising), public relations and brand marketing (TV).[36] The company has historically entered new countries using predominantly television advertising.[37]

When Facebook expanded its Dynamic Ads product to cover travel brands, Trivago was one of its two initial launch participants.[38]

The "Trivago guy"[edit]

When the company aired its first U.S. TV advertisement in 2012, the ad's spokesman inspired a trending Twitter hashtag, #trivagoguy, based on his unusual look.[39] According to Rolling Stone, Trivago "wanted someone real, approachable and genuine" when it chose actor Tim Williams to star in the ad. The Trivago guy became an unexpected celebrity, with some people noting his unbuttoned shirt and creepy vibe, while others found his scruffy appearance and deep voice "inexplicably sexy".[40]

Trivago responded to the comments by launching a contest that invited people to give the Trivago guy a makeover.[41] The Trivago guy inspired parodies, fan fiction and a large gay following.[42]

Many commenters asked why Trivago chose not to have the actor wear a belt. According to the actor, that was an accident. "Unfortunately none of the belts fit the belt loops that I had on," Williams said. "I think that was probably the best break we could have gotten."[39] Following the large response for the U.S. Trivago guy, the company decided to create French and Spanish Trivago guys.[39] From 2016 until June 2017, the French actor Mehdi Nebbou was the German Trivago guy.

For Latin America (the whole Spanish-speaking region) Trivago's commercials are presented by Spanish actor Gonzalo Peña. In Brazil, the man shown on screen is the well-known actor and model Willian Mello.

In 2016, the company get popular in India after doing the Trivago advertisement by Abhinav Kumar who is also known as "Trivago guy" in India. Abhinav became popular and an internet sensation for his role in ubiquitous Trivago ads in India.[43][44][45][46][47]

The local face for South Korean Trivago commercials, was K-pop artist Eric Nam, who was replaced laterly.

The "Trivago girl"[edit]

In the UK, Trivago's advertisements are fronted by Australian actress and musician Gabrielle Miller.[48] In Germany, the Trivago girl is German actress and model Anna Puck (since June 2017 replacing Nebbou). In France the Trivago girl is French actress Morgane Miller (replacing Pierick Tournier in 2017). In Japan, Trivago is represented in their TV commercials by singer/songwriter Natalie Emmons, who uses the pseudonym "Strae" in the United States.[49] In Malaysia, actress and TV host Dahlia Shazwan has starred in Trivago's advertisements.[50]

Work environment[edit]

Trivago states that it attempts to recruit tech and business employees that are "willing to cross borders".[2] Trivago's first employees were hired via Skype interview from Spain, Italy and Canada, and today 90% of its staff is recruited internationally.[5]

The company operates with virtually no hierarchies or titles,[2] instead using a model called swarm intelligence. It also does not have fixed working hours, and offers employees a four-day surprise holiday each year and one month working in Mallorca.[51] At some point in time,[when?] Trivago said that it was receiving around 50,000 applicants per year.[2]


The average age of a Trivago employee is 26 years old[2] and it has 63 nationalities working in its main office. It is not unusual to see flags dotting the office space above the desks of employees who have ties with the nation represented.[52]

New campus[edit]

On February 2, 2016, Trivago announced its plans to build a global campus in Düsseldorf, designed to accommodate over 2,000 people. Construction was completed in early June 2018, and on June 18th, 2018, the last of trivago's c. 1700 employees were moved to the new Campus.[12] The six-story building was designed by SOP Architekten in Düsseldorf. The new campus is located on the docks of Kesselstraße in the Düsseldorf "Media Harbour", close to the Neuer Zollhof buildings designed by Frank Gehry.[12]

Legal issues[edit]

In August 2016, Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn, LLC filed a class-action lawsuit in California accusing the company and its partners of "brazen deceit" by coordinating with internet search engines and social media institutions to return false results on lodging entities in favor of those affiliated with their websites, in violation of the Lanham Act. As of January 2017, the case remained pending.[53][54]

In August 2018, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleged in a court case brought against Trivago in the High Court of Australia that the company has misled consumers on their website and in their television advertising. It was alleged that search results were ordered in preference to the highest paying "cost per click" advertisers, rather than outright cheapest prices. It was also alleged that the company's television advertising misled consumers by purporting to be "impartial and objective", when it fact it wasn't. [55] The penalties for engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct, under the Australian Consumer Law, can be up to $1.1 million per breach. As of August 2018, the case is still on-going.

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]