UPDATE: So now that NewTravelco has acquired TravelPost from Kayak and changed its name to TravelPost, what is the relationship between the new TravelPost and Kayak?
Kayak CEO Steve Hafner confirms that Kayak is "thrilled to be a shareholder" in TravelPost and the two companies have cross-licensing agreements.
One can only wonder, then, how the revamped TravelPost, might impact Kayak's content and value proposition when TravelPost is relaunched later this year.
The original story follows:
NewTravelco, the travel startup formed by ex-Expedia geeks, changed its name to TravelPost.
Tnooz broke the story several weeks ago that NewTravelco had acquired TravelPost from Kayak.
The name change was first reported by TechFlash. In the new designation, the team, including Greg Slyngstad, Simon Breakwell and Rich Barton, opted to base the new enterprise around TravelPost's branding because of its relative consumer panache and SEO value.
But, this is just the starting point for the startup, as you can see from this statement on the top of the homepage.
"A new TravelPost.com is coming..."
Sitting in a hotel bar in Seattle, the Washington city where TravelPost is headquartered, Breakwell outlined the company's ambitions -- without revealing too much.
Breakwell says there has been little innovation in travel since the middle part of the decade when much of the heavy lifting had been finished -- the advent on online travel agencies [Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz], the hotel merchant model [Expedia], metasearch [Kayak] and user-generated content [TripAdvisor].
So TravelPost intends to rethink some of those breakthroughs as if they were being created today, and hopes to create an entirely new category.
The reincarnated TravelPost likely will take a swipe at TripAdvisor, but the intention is clearly more than that.
Well, the people running Expedia, TripAdvisor and Kayak aren't slow learners. Why aren't they creating the next big thing themselves?
Breakwell says they are too preocuppied with running their respective stores.
But, if you think the TravelPost team is leisurely throwing darts at a board to see what sticks in the interim, guess again.
Breakwell arrived late to our meeting because he'd been tied up all day in product meetings.
TravelPost is tweeting and it has a Facebook page, too.
Here are members of the team hard at work -- at something.
Meanwhile, NewTravelco has migrated its blog to the TravelPost blog, which is now being written by Postman. He argues that that travel has become so complex that the only people who can deal with it successfully are road warriors because they are the ones whom the industry caters to.
"The rest of us are on our own," Postman says.
Until a new TravelPost.com arrives?
TravelPost drops some hints about what we may see from it later this year.
"We believe that it is still the early days of the Internet travel revolution," TravelPost states. "The increasing power of transparency, connectivity, and mobility will continue to open new worlds to travelers and new channels for suppliers. We believe that a small, passionate team of people can effect massive change."
Since NewTravelco formed with $9.8 milllion in the kitty and acquired TravelPost from Kayak, the team has been busy sorting through piles of resumes and the ranks already have been expanded.
A couple of the new additions have ties to Microsoft and Expedia.
In the team photo lineup there is a blank spot without a photo that says "You."
Click on You and one can see the TravelPost pitch on why it will be a great place to work.
TravelPost will be filling some of those slots soon -- and the company is gradually filling in the blanks about an alleged new travel category in the offing.