Kayak's upcoming Private Sale offering will be separate from its metasearch feature and will be available to Kayak account holders only, the company says.
Kayak's web page seeking seeking registrants refers to Private Sale inventory as "exclusive hotel deals for Kayak users," but Brian Harniman, executive vice president of marketing and distribution, says, "We'll start with hotels, but I anticipate offering air and vacation deals shortly. Discussions with suppliers are happening right now."
Kayak's Private Sale venture has some parallels to the operations of Jetsetter, founded by former Kayaker Drew Patterson, although the business model is different. Jetsetter is a hotel booking site for upscale properties and shuns the media business.
Kayak intends to negotiate exclusive deals in destinations popular with Kayak users, as evidenced in Kayak Trends.
Although Private Sale will be distinct from Kayak metasearch, the booking process will be similar, Harniman says.
"The customer finds what they're looking for and transacts directly with the supplier," he says. "We're continuing our mission to send qualified demand to our supplier partners."
One open question is how Kayak intends to scale up Private Sale: Will it need to expand its workforce to negotiate these exclusive deals?
Well, at least if Kayak follows through with an IPO, there would be some funding to hire some more salespeople.