Four years after first trying out hotel search as a bolt-on to its original flight service, Skyscanner has acquired hotel comparison startup Fogg.
Fogg, which is based in Barcelona with a five-person team, simplifies hotel search by using semantic search and a full metasearch engine that brings together average ratings, room information and room rates from different booking engines for comparison in the results.
It gets its hotel contact both from hotels directly and via the usual array of online travel agencies.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In the announcement of the purchase, Skyscanner says it sees the integration of the hotel search functionality as a way to bolster their hotel search capabilities as well as becoming part of its efforts to boost its profile in North America, one of the only regions where it lags behind Kayak.
The deal will mark the end of a long-term relationship with HotelsCombined, which has powered the current hotel search channel on Skyscanner since the beginning of the Scotland-based company's first foray into accommodation search.
An official says the partnership will remain in place until its establishes its own hotel search platform.
Skyscanner’s CEO Gareth Williams says of the deal:
"Our users are going to love our hotel search as a result of this acquisition. We built the best flight search product anywhere in the world. We then expanded that offering into car rental. And today we’ve taken a big step towards completing the picture in the space of hotel search.
"The Fogg team share Skyscanner’s passion for simple, natural and flexible travel solutions, bringing inspiration back into the travel experience. It makes them the perfect fit for us. Skyscanner is opening a new office in Barcelona where Fogg’s full time staff will be based. We’ll build it out from there.”
The advantages for Skyscanner are clear: a robust hotel search engine that complements their key offering in flight search.
Keeping the team intact and based in Barcelona (where they will be joined by other Skyscanner staff) also allows continuity despite the acquisition. Employees will still be able to manage the product development as planned with much less disruption.
Skyscanner will integrate Fogg completely by the end of 2013, and roll the service out to its global user base in 30 languages.
The last acquisition of note Skyscanner made was in January 2011 when it bought door-to-door metasearch service Zoombu for an undisclosed fee, essentially a talent and tech-hire.
Here's how Fogg works: