Kayak mobile downloads soaring but no change in IPO chances
Kayak saw downloads of its mobile apps jump 97% to more than 5 million during the first nine months of 2011, but its IPO chances aren’t on a similar trajectory.
The news about the growth in Kayak’s mobile apps came in an updated registration statement filed last week, but there was no revision to Kayak’s own assessment of its IPO chances, which stands at what many consider to be a generous 50% estimate.
It’s rare for an IPO to take place more than a year after filing a registration statement, as Kayak did in November 2010.
Part of the increase in mobile downloads may be tied to a 26.4% hike in marketing expense to $87.4 million, but a good chunk of that increase is related to Kayak’s investments in swoodoo, Kayak Europe and checkfelix.com.
Actually, as a percentage of revenue, Kayak’s marketing expense during the first nine months of 2011 slid 270 basis points, a trend Kayak attributes that to “efficiencies achieved in US marketing expense…”
Kayak’s query volumes were up 44.7% this year through Sept. 30, a phenomenon Kayak says is a result of its marketing investments.
Overall, for the first nine months of the year, Kayak’s net income was just a little more than $3 million, down from $6.1 million during the first nine months of 2010. But, Kayak’s profit was brought down in the first nine months of 2011 because it discontinued the SideStep.com URL and consequently took a $15 million impairment charge.
Kayak’s revenue for the first nine months of 2011 was $170.6 million, a 33% increase.
There is one interesting omission in Kayak’s latest amended registration statement compared with the Sept. 20 version.
In a paragraph about its strategic relationship with Google, which launched Google Flight Search in September, Kayak dropped any mention of the percentage of revenue that Kayak gets from Google.
In the Sept. 20 document, Kayak noted: “For the six months ended June 30, 2011, we received 6.5% of our total revenues from Google.”
There’s no word on what that percentage was through the first nine months of the year.
Kayak may have decided that it wasn’t necessary to disclose this percentage anymore and/or perhaps whatever the percentage is, it doesn’t do much to improve the company’s seemingly dimming IPO chances.
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.