Kayak buys Austrian travel search engine Checkfelix
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but Kayak has purchased JaBo Software Vertrieb- und Entwicklung, which uses the Checkfelix as its trading name.
Checkfelix will continue to operate as a separate brand within the Kayak empire, but some management changes are expected to take place, with founder and ex-majority shareholder Hannes Jagerhofer becoming a marketing consultant to the business and John-Lee Saez staying in charge of operations but from Kayak’s European HQ in Zurich, Switzerland.
This is the second time in less than 12 months that Kayak has pounced on a strong player in an individual market in Europe.
German metasearch firm Swoodoo was bought by Kayak in May 2010, with CEO Christian Saller taking on the wider role of Kayak Europe managing director.
The deal for Checkfelix was completed on April 1, just a few months short of its sixth birthday, having launched in August 2005 and quickly becoming a significant player in Austria, covering search for flights, hotels and car hire.
Kayak is currently gearing up for its first foray into the public markets, having announced its intention to IPO in November 2010.
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.