nolan, ray
1373 days ago
 

Skyscanner hires Hostelworld founder as chairman, plots global number one spot

Aggressive move and plenty of talk from metasearch site Skyscanner as its appoints Ray Nolan as its chairman and targets the number one position in the world.

nolan, ray

Nolan is better known for founding Web Reservations International, parent company of Hostelworld, which he sold last year for £340 million to private equity group Hellman and Friedman.

His appointment is being cloaked in fighting talk about growth and possibilities for the company, with CEO Gareth Williams pointing to how it is time to build on the “steep trajectory” of the past two years and “aim for the number one position worldwide”.

Of course the likes of Kayak in the US, Travelsupermarket in the UK, countless others across Europe and in Asia, which currently sit ahead of Skyscanner, will have something to say about this.

Nolan himself talks of “yet another exponential growth spurt” for Skyscanner in the announcement on Sunday, but details have yet to emerge as to what the strategy might be.

Certainly appointing a high profile figure in the shape of Nolan points to more than just bringing in another man to oversee board meetings (the previous chair was IT veteran John Nicholson).

Options open to Skyscanner to fuel the predicted growth spurt obviously include taking a new funding round (the last series was for £2.5 from SEP in January 2008.

Another would be to move to the public markets, a route taken by Travelsupermarket parent Moneysupermarket in mid-2008.

Skyscanner says has no immediate plans for an IPO but is not ruling out a move in the future, but says Nolan’s appointment will enable the company to “explore the potential for strategic partnerships and ventures”.

Last week the company said it captured revenue of £3.5 million in the third quarter of 2010, up 90% year-on-year. Over the same period traffic was up 47% across the business.

 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also 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 and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

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