TripAdvisor buys trip planning service Wanderfly
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Wanderfly first emerged on the scene in mid-2010, founded by Evan Schneyer, Christy Liu and Cezary Pietrzak and initially with a private seed funding from angels it secured the year before.
It later went on to secure $1 million from the Silicon Valley heavyweights such as Jason Calacanis.
Details about how (indeed, if) Wanderfly will be incorporated into the core TripAdvisor service will presumably come in due course, but there is also a very high chance that it will remain as a standalone brand and sit within the Smarter Travel Media network of sites.
Since its launch, Wanderfly has secured a string of partnerships, arguably more than the other social travel startups which emerged around the same time.
It secured a deal with New York Times in October 2011, took on flight and hotel search white labels through Kayak and Expedia respectively, and performed the inevitable integration with Facebook in May 2011.
Perhaps most important, however, and almost inevitably, it eyed the rapid rise of Pinterest late last year and switched to a visual-based inspiration platform in March 2012 – a period in the wider social travel startup world which appeared to also inspire (no pun intended) others such as Gogobot, Trippy et al.
But while some thought the service (a way of recording routes and trips via a mobile, including reviews) would eventually find its way into TripAdvisor, 18 months on and it remains largely a standalone product.
TripAdvisor co-founder and CEO, Steve Kaufer, says:
“The Wanderfly team understands the value in social travel planning. They’re a great asset as we continue our developments in this area and I am delighted to welcome them to TripAdvisor.”
Quick off the mark, Gogobot CEO Travis Katz emailed:
“Through its acquisition of Wanderfly, TripAdvisor is looking for a quick fix to building its user base in social travel.
“Gogobot has established that social travel is most effective when you achieve a critical mass of users who are truly connected, which the company has achieved with its more than two million registered users.”
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.