UK-based Skyscanner sold for £1.4 billion
Skyscanner, the UK-based company founded by three university friends in 2003, has been sold to Chinese travel business Ctrip in a £1.4 billion deal. The acquisition, which is mostly cash alongside some Ctrip stock, marks the next stage of a journey that began as a pub conversation in 2001.
The news comes just days after chancellor Philip Hammond promised £400 million of government money would go to help stop British tech companies from being bought by international rivals. In the autumn statement, Hammond describes the money as “a first step to tackle the long-standing problem of our fastest-growing technology firms being snapped up by bigger companies, rather than growing to scale”.
Skyscanner is a travel search engine that enables users to compare prices from hundreds of other travel sites when searching for flights, hotels and rental cars. With more than 60 million monthly active users and available in over 30 languages, Skyscanner numbers among the leading travel brands online.
According to Gareth Williams, co-founder and CEO of Skyscanner, the company will remain operationally independent from Ctrip but will benefit from its new owner’s experience. “Today’s news takes Skyscanner one step closer to our goal of making travel search as simple as possible for travellers around the world,” he added in a statement.
A passionate skier, Skyscanner was founded after Williams found the process of getting flights for ski trips frustrating.
Image by Jorge Diaz, used under Creative Commons licence.