European Flight Search Site Skyscanner Buys Travel Startup Zoombu
Zoombu was founded by Rachel Armitage and Dr. Alistair Hann, who have moved into key roles at Skyscanner. With Zoombu, their goal was to provide multiple transport options in a single search.
"As travellers ourselves we recognise that there are more ways to get around than flights only," said Skyscanner CEO Gareth Williams. "Covering other travel options on the Skyscanner site is something we’ve wanted to do from the start, but air travel is a complex area and we wanted to get that right before expanding into other transport options. Zoombu is an ideal fit for Skyscanner. We really like the Zoombu team – they, and the technology, are very impressive and we’re delighted they’re joining us."
"Rail travel will be the first area that Skyscanner focuses on following the Zoombu acquisition," Williams added. "With increasing investment being made in rail infrastructure in Europe and worldwide, train travel is the immediate priority for us and we aim to launch this on the site in the spring."
"This is a very exciting move for the Zoombu team," said Armitage. "Our strengths lie in the product and technology development. By combining forces with such an established and respected online travel search company we get a fast track route to bringing our vision of a better search experience to a vast user base. We’ve always had a lot of admiration for the Skyscanner product and the team behind it and we are really looking forward to the opportunities ahead."
The Zoombu team has won multiple awards in the travel industry, such as Eye for Travel’s Best Start-up in 2009, The University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School Venture Fund 2009 Winner, the Travel Trade Gazette Big Idea finalist 2009; and Finalist at Seedcamp 2008. The company also made it to the final 5 (out of 1,500 businesses) in the Amazon Web Services Start-up Challenge 2010.
Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.